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Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
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Development Issues

Bodh Gaya is a small town in one of the poorest areas of India. It attracts considerable attention as a development site. On the one hand from those who are interested in profiting from developing the pilgrimage site. On the other by those who are interested in helping the people who live in the area to gain access to adequate, work, education, food, housing and utilities such as water and electricity. There are many groups trying to help in Bodhgaya, some excellent, some good, some, to be frank, not so good. I recommend that people look carefully at the organisations they are supporting and investigate the ways in which they work carefully. The following are some of the groups:
(arranged in alphabetical order).

Bodhgaya Development Association: "The Bodhgaya Development Association (BDA) is a small organisation set up to support projects in the Bodhgaya region of Bihar State in India. It was established in 1992 and is based in Brisbane (Australia). The BDA was formerly known as the Bodhgaya Development Foundation (BDF) until incorporation requirements led to the name being changed."

People First: "People First, a non-profit organization, works closely with village communities in rural Bihar (India). Breaking the centuries-old cycle of ignorance and repression, People First offers opportunities for education to hundreds of children and adults."

Samanvay Ashram: "Founded in 1954, the Samanvay Ashram has worked towards the betterment of the downtrodden in the Bhodgaya community. Based on Ghandhian values, the ashram is a center for research & training in education and development, and aims to fulfill Ghandhiji's vision of "Building from Below unto the Last.. ". "

Steuncomité ANAND: Francis Laleman, a lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the India Study Centre of Antwerp University (Belgium) has written to tell me of a group of his students who have taken the initiative to support the Jeevan Deep chain of projects, and to this aim has started an independent charity fund-raising organisation in Belgium. Since Kailash's Spanish support is shortly to come to an end, this Belgian group will become the sole financial contributors to Jeevan Deep. The students also have created a website (which, unfortunately, is only in Dutch). However - since many visitors to Bodhgaya are either Dutch or Flemish it may interest visitors to the bodhgayanews.net pages.

Sujata Childrens Welfare Foundation: "The Sujata Children's Welfare Foundation was set up with the main goal of helping poor children, orphans and the destitute by providing free education, clothing, medical care and skills training."

Vajra Bodhi Society: "At present Vajra Bodhi Society is running two free schools, one is situated in a village named Mocharim some 2 km away from Buddhagaya and the other one is situated in a village Anandgarh about 7 km away from Buddhagaya. At present, the Mocharim school is attended by 490 students and the Anandgarh school by 425 students. The Society has a plan to open more schools in the villages around Buddhagaya where formal school education would be a first-hand experience."

Related Links

Bodhgaya Development Association

People First

Samanvay Ashram

Sujata Childrens Welfare Foundation

Vajra Bodhi Society

Steuncomité ANAND

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.