Indian school children gesture to greet while traveling on a over-loaded rickshaw on their way back home after their school in New Delhi, May 4, 2018. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ekal Vidyalaya, known for its innovative single teacher school in remote rural and tribal parts of India, has raised more than $12 million this year so far through over 50 fund-raising concerts and three galas across the U.S., writes Lalit K. Jha.

This past week alone, Ekal Vidyalaya raised $5.5 million through its three mega galas in Houston, Maryland and New York, with the last one alone accounting for $3 million, a media release said, Oct. 17. This is the highest in the 30-year history of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation.

Funds this year has been raised for its literacy, healthcare, village-development movements for rural and tribal areas. The more than 50 musical concerts across the country raised $7.5 million. The Houston gala raised $1.5 million and $1.1 million was raised at its Ekal-Washington gala in Maryland.

In a statement Ekal Vidyalaya said that this unprecedented support from patrons has also given confidence to it to revise and aggressively pursue its developmental agenda. This year so far it has opened schools in 18,000 villages.

“E-Shiksha – tutoring by ‘Tablets’ was initiated in 180 schools, as a pilot project. For digital literacy, 10 ‘Ekal-on-wheels’ mobile digital labs have been added. Each van can educate 5,000 youths, each year, in basic computer skills,” it said.

A tele-medicine project, with support from Johns Hopkins University was undertaken in Odisha to bring expert medical advice to the doorsteps of remote villagers.

“The primary objective of this all-round integrated development is to give dignity and self-esteem to rural-tribal folks of India,” said Bajrang Bagra, CEO of Ekal-India.