ECHO, the movement to bridge the gap between private and public schooling, not only creates an awareness of this gap, but also creates a solution which bridges this gap by integrating municipal school students who have completed schooling and are eligible to attend college, with the help of Rotaractors successfully enrolled in private colleges.
As part of the preparation, mentors from each year’s organising committee visited Geetanagar slums in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. They connected with the residents to see their homes, understand their life and limitations, their dreams for their children and much more. The children from here who participated and came in on the first day were unable to speak a word because they were shy and not very confident. They were moved to tears when given a mic to hold for the first time because they had come to believe no one wanted to hear their voices and see them transform over the week into strong, confident children who now began reaching for the microphone to share their thoughts with a larger audience and speak on the topic of the day. ECHO enabled students, who hadn’t been taught to logically think through situations, to start applying skills and learning to ask relevant questions in reference to their further studies and futures.
The ECHO 2017 Finale, which took place at KC College Auditorium, where Rotarians and the participants parents’ were invited, to witness the great positive changes imbibed in the participants in just a week, were surprised to see the kids confidently stride across the stage, stand in front of microphones and boldly introduce themselves in English! Miss ECHO, Khushboo, who flamboyantly addressed the audiences on ‘How to make this world a better place to live in’, left them surprised and inspired. Participants who made it to round 2 had to answer ‘on-the-spot’ judges’ questions, ranging from government polices to lifestyle choices… and all these were answered flawlessly and with enthusiasm and confidence by these dynamic children.
The Rotaractors imbibed the true essence of ECHO’s motto, ‘What We See In Others Exists In Us.’ They understood gratitude and built lifelong friendships and connections with the ‘other 70%’ of India who will be their fellow co-workers, businesspersons, politicians, and impact-creators of the future.
ECHO 2017 changed many lives and endeavours to keep at it transforming one life at a time! ECHO 2017 had 270 municipal school students and 120 private college students, across the city of Mumbai, coming together for the most transformative experience of their lives through numerous holistic personality development activities. Esteemed speakers participate to explain various concepts to children including college registration process, health and hygiene, technology today, gender sensitisation, financial literacy, etc. ECHO has been successful in empowering an increasing number of students to complete their much-needed college graduation degrees. By changing one life at a time, ECHO endeavours to revolutionize a monumental and sustainable change in India. ECHO is spearheaded by Freyaz Shroff, Founder of KurNiv, and member of the Rotary Club of Bombay, who firmly believes that every child has the right to education. The active support of the globally renowned homoeopathy legend, Dr. Batra who also is the President of the Rotary Club of Bombay, went a long way in ensuring that ECHO 2017 was a thundering success!
Freyaz started ECHO in 2015, to ensure quality holistic development to all Indian children. ECHO is an initiative by the Rotary Club of Bombay and Rotaract Club of HR College in partnership with Rotary District 3141 and the Rotaract District 3141. Freyaz Shroff leads the program and various esteemed industrialists, educationists and prominent community members support ECHO with their active participation and monetary assistance. Both organizations strive to bring a change in the lives of the underprivileged kids and impact their learning processes.