The Ekal Vidayalaya Foundation on November 9 presented its ‘Future of India’ Gala, for the third year running. The event took place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall and helped Ekal raise $3.1 million for its mission to eradicate illiteracy from rural and tribal India.

Additionally, thanks to the Gala, the foundation is now a step closer to fulfiling its objective of setting up 100,000 schools in most remote parts of the country.

The event was graced by various eminent personalities and distinguished speakers included entrepreneur-investor Raju Reddy, Sprinklr Founder and CEO Ragy Thomas, Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, among others. Consul General of India Sandeep Chakravarty and Carolyn Maloney, the US Representative for New York.

The Gala also featured a musical performance from noted Bollywood singer Shibani Kashyap.

Several pledges, which can only be described as game-changing, were made during the Wala. For instance, the Wanchoo family, whose member Mohan Wanchoo also served as the Chair of the Gala, pledged a million dollars; while the donation was indeed significant, he also noted that it was like a drop in the ocean due to the great needs at Ekal.

Vivek Oberoi, meanwhile, pledged to work with his friends and partners in the US as well as India in an effort to bring small-scale solar power solutions to all Ekal villages. “I have received a commitment of over half a million dollars already,” he revealed.

Ragy Thomas pledged $100,000, while Raju Shetty is working with Ekal to bring transformation in rural Telangana. In a historic announcement, Perfection of Men, too, pledged over half a million dollars to plant a million trees in rural Telangana.

At the Gala, several Ekal supporters were also recognised. Team Sankalp of Massachusetts was recognised for its financial support to 625 Ekal schools. Others to be recognised were Himanshu Shah, CEO, Shah Capital; Adish and Asha Jain, Vandana and Vivek Sharma, the Guru Kripa Foundation and Subra and Anu Dravida.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation is the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize, the highest honour given to any organisation from the government of India.