Answer any of the following questions in a 1-2 page essay (or do the creative option at the bottom). We will feature the best essays on our webpage and in our newsletter. All students who participate will receive a signed letter saying that they’ve done two hours of community service for the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation.

1. Tribal India has some very beautiful musical traditions. How could you use music to spread awareness about Ekal Vidyalaya?

2. Ekal teaches yoga in its schools. How did yoga evolve and how is it beneficial for one’s health?

3. Tribal literacy in India is around 60%. Why is it important to raise literacy in Indian villages?

4. Look at the Ekal Website. What are some of the major challenges in building schools in tribal areas? How can Ekal address those?

5. If you were given a chance to teach in an Indian village, what would you teach and how? What would you expect from the experience?

6. In addition to primary education, Ekal provides health education and education in organic agriculture. Write about one of these two programs, or suggest another program that you think Ekal could implement and tell us why it’s important.

7. What are the most important issues that should be covered in primary education?

8. Female literacy lags behind male literacy in rural India. Let’s say that you’re a teacher in an Ekal village, and you notice that none of the girls in your village are coming to class. What would you tell parents to convince them that it’s important for them to send their daughters to school?

9. Frame your own question in relation to village development/empowerment and answer it.

10. Creative Option: Look at the Ekal website, and write a creative story set in an Indian village. Remember to think about how villagers live: they usually draw water from a well, and don’t have cars. How does that impact their daily life? Make sure to consider these differences when writing your story. We will also accept pictures, paintings, films and other media in this category.

Deadline: Feb 20, 2009

Mail all submissions to:


Ekal Essay Contest Submission

14620 Pommel Drive

Rockville MD 20850