Open Learning Buddhist Studies
Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Volunteers and Foreigners Clean Up Bodhgaya
Gaya, 9 April. Cutting through the administrative arrangements for cleaning up in the International Tourist Destination of Bodhgaya foreign organisations and the local Samvedensheel Citizens have completed a two day clean up campaign. Children from the Maitreya Universal School, Women's Awakening movement, The Jeevan Deep [group], the Fidosiya Society, The Tibetan Monastery, and Samanvey Ashram took part in this program. This two day program and and instruction program was completed with the help of the Organiser Kabir Saxena, Sister Mary, Upendraji, Jamaludeen and Kailasprasad.
In connection with the two day program it is reported that this clean up campaign began in [the suburb of] Miyan Bigha. About a hundred locals and foreigners were seen with brooms and shovels and tools in their hands. All the cleanup workers were seen cleaning on the roads and clearing up the rubbish in the ditches and drains on both sides of the roads.
It is not that such a clean up campaign has not been seen before in Bodhgaya. On several occasions under the leadership of Bhante Vimalasara of the Mahabodhi Society there have been clean up campaigns. It is notable that whilst Bodhgaya is a scheduled area [due to its high proportion of SC caste population?] that foreigners should be seen having to clean it up is quite concerning.
In regard to this matter in the last few days intellectuals [buddhijivi- perhaps here "concerned citizens"] have formed the Samvedensheel Nagarik Manch [Sensitive Citizens Platform/Front]. This Front has given to the Gaya DM Brajesh Mehotra several pictures of the dirt in Bodhgaya. The belief of the Front is that the responsibility for cleaning up Bodhgaya lies with its citizens. For the thousands of foreign tourists who come to Bodhgaya to see the filth there will be a stain not just on the reputation of Bodhgaya but of the nation itself. This belief of the front is praiseworthy.

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