A walk in the woods
Abhiram Nimai Das: Hare Krishna.!
Before the rise of nation-state, the world was mostly tribal. Tribes were united by language, blood, traditions and most importantly, faith. Today, we live in a world where faith feels very small and ISKCON tribal care initiative is an effort to restore it. Tribals are the indigenous color of India. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new. Iskcon is working on this project with a desire to create joyous, spiritual and conscious music in the woods.
In the initial days we used to travel very deep into the forests and mountains and through different sources of contacts, we would reach to the most needed people to offer our help. But now after our three years of services to Tribal brothers and sisters, Tribal communities has recognized us and are anxiously looking forward to receive help from us. Many people think that tribal needs to be brought to the mainstream society of modern technological advancement but while serving and closely understanding Tribals, we realized that they are in the main stream and we, who proclaim ourselves to be civilized and urbanized, are out of mainstream. We are living in the artificial necessities and environment exploiting Mother Nature. Tribals are gifted with natural life style dependent on natural resources, following ancient lifestyle of natural bliss and purity. We do not offer them the fake charms of materialistic world but we sow a seed of love and consciousness in their hearts. We work to make them aware of their integrity and goodness. By the sincere effort and tireless labor of our Tribal care givers, thousands of Tribal lives are changing. Many children who were aimlessly roaming in the forest are now getting education and those villages which had no water facilities are getting water at their doorstep. Needy people are getting financially stable by getting help for farming and handicraft. Prayer halls and coaching centers are built in every village. Better hospitals and treatment facilities are created and first aid kits are supplied to villages for immediate treatment. Their culture has been promoted in through events at Mayapur, where people from all over the world gather in large numbers. Tribal youths are getting training at mayapur for better life. Water tanks have been built to supply water for irrigation. ITCI has also started producing bricks by its own brick factory in the remote forest area, for building schools, prayer halls, toilets etc. in the villages. There is still a long way to go and we appreciate the generous contributions of our donors who have come forward whole heartedly in this mission of ISKCON family.
The roots of the mission
Every culture has evolved its own mythology, defining its character and offering a way to understand the world. The world is a bigger deal so we are trying to understand ourselves. The universe lies within us and thus erupt the need of an organization like Iskcon to begin this mission and be the mirror for our tribals.
“You can stand before the mirror with closed eyes and the mirror will still be reflecting you. The man will not know that he is being reflected but the mirror will be doing its function and Iskcon is playing the same part. Our little efforts will bring the great transformations in the coming years. Tribals will open their eyes and will smile looking themselves in the mirror. We are working for this smile” – said Prabhu Devki Nandan, member of Iskcon International fund raising society.
The Next Milestone
In West Bengal in the district of Purulia, there is a place called Ayodhya Hill which has 78 Tribal Villages. Our goal is by next 7 years, every village will have a coaching center so that each and every Tribal child can get basic education. School buildings for English medium schools are under construction and this year by the help of government, we are expecting to open many hostels and skill development institutions at various places in Assam, Tripura, West Bengal and Jharkand. We hope by the mercy of all of you, Iskcon Tribal care initiative shall continue to serve our Tribal brothers and sisters in more better way and we will be able to extend its service to many more Tribals in the near future, for the pleasure of SrilaPrabhupada and Lord Krishna.
Bhakti Purshottama Swami
Iskcon Tribal Care Initiative
The Fourth Iskcon Tribal Care Convention 2018, Mayapur
ISKCON Tribal Care Initiative has positively transformed thousands of tribal lives and Tribal care conventions are organized every year to celebrate the success of the mission along with the glory of Lord Chaitanya’s all-encompassing mercy.
More than 2000 Tribal delegates from different states like Jharkhand, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Bengal and Orissa, came together with all their compassion and energy at Sri Mayapur to take part in the Tribal Convention 2018.
Tripuri, Ahom, Bhumij, Boro, Dimasa, Hajong, Halam, karbi, Keretta, konamon, Kurmi, Tea tribe, Malpahari, Munda, Nagesia, Oraon, Rajwar, Reang, Santal were the main tribes to embrace the event with their charm, eagerness and enthusiasm.
Where ever one could look in ISKCON Mayapur campus only one sight was visible– the panoramic scene of tribal people from different tribes with their traditional dresses, carrying their traditional musical instruments.
The beautiful and auspicious ceremony of Ganga puja was performed, followed by dances, musical performances, prayers and valuable discussions on insights of the Iskcon mission.
The gathering was lovely, joyous and deep as we shined together like a family and indeed it proved that ITCI brought a divine light in the ill-lit and pathless woods.
“I am glad to be a part of the Tribal Convention event at Sri-Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir. I am pleased about the good works that Iskcon Tribal Care Initiative is doing like establishing schools for the children and preaching consciousness to the people. The activity of ISKCON is a matter of great pride for us and I convey my best wishes to the members of the organizing committee for their restless efforts to make the convention a great success.”
Mr. Amar Kumar Bauri (Chief Guest)
Revenue & Land Reforms, Art, Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs minister of Jharkhand state.
has helped us people to grow, to learn & to do. So we can believe in & create a good life around us by helping people.. by teaching them the same thing that ‘’ There is no your God or my God all the godliness comes from the same source just the manifestations are different”
I found the meaning of Magic. I first believed that nothing like magic exist in this world. But the truth is Devoting yourself in Hari naam brings tremendous transformations in your life. I got to know this truth after getting the knowledge of truth in ISKCON. This transformation is magic.
The work Iskcon is doing is a work of patience and in our village we say that Patience can cook stones..(laughs). We will all witness the results in the coming years.
A long way to go
We are timeless in scope and appeals; we are a classic artwork of Krishna. We must realize our significance, our existence, our grandness.
The beginning of the mission is definitely good but a lot is yet to be done. People asked the advice of stars to know about human destiny but they never looked at the trees and the waters. If you look at them, they cooperate. And that’s the secret of Mother Nature. Forests are the true Gods and we must all come together to contribute our little part in this mission for the upbringing of our tribals. Let’s walk together in the lovingness of the woods!
Message From H.H. JAYAPATAKA SWAMI
Lord Chaitanya wanted that everyone on this planet be given an opportunity to take up Krishna Consciousness so that their lives may become sublime and happy. Prabhupada showed us how Lord Chaitanya’s teaching is not for a selected few but for all the people in every nook and corner of the world. Following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, HH Bhakti Purusottam Maharaj has pioneered the effort and carried out the task of giving Krishna Consciousness to Tribals with astounding results.
Being simple in hearts, the tribals are taking it up very sincerely and enthusiastically.
This effort needs to be expanded more and more and we are very grateful that Central government and government of different states have been appreciating and supporting this program.
The count of Tribals participating in this program has been growing in large numbers and I pray that the program continues successfully and it may please Srila Prabhupada, the precious acharya and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
ISKCON GBC and Guru
Website : http://www.indiatribalcare.org/
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