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I am writing to you in a very critical and uncertain time, and I know that a number of you are concerned about our Sangha in India. India too is on lockdown, and people’s conditions are very different from ours: food is hard to come by and expensive, many people don’t have homes or sanitation. There is mass migration with migrant workers returning to their home villages. If people do have homes, they often live with many family members sharing a small space.
The Sangha in India are responding to the needs of others as best they can: bringing practical and emotional support to those that need it.
Understandably the ordination team members we support are also concerned about their livelihood since they usually fundraise for half their wages. Indian fundraising is dependent on one-off gifts after face to face appeals, which is not possible at this time. However, the teams remain positive and inspired, looking to find creative ways to reach out to others.
Our big news
As you know, we’re a small charity, run by a dedicated team of volunteer trustees, that concentrates on fundraising for Dhamma work in India. The most essential thing that we do is to fundraise for the Indian Ordination Teams, enabling them to do what they do best: travel all over India spreading the Dhamma and training the next generation of Order Members to do the same. Travelling isn’t possible at the moment, but the Sangha still needs advice and support, encouragement to deepen their Dhamma practice in a time of uncertainty and fear.
We have decided that the most effective way for us to operate, particularly in this difficult time, is to partner up with Future Dharma Fund. The team at Future Dharma will take over our communications and fundraising, bringing with them a wide pool of experience and training to draw from.
The trustees at India Dhamma Trust are very pleased about this new development. It means we can share ideas and knowledge, working together on the common project of spreading the Dhamma all over the world. What the India Dhamma Trust will bring is a specialist interest and experience of India. Around a third of the Order is in India, and around half of the world’s Mitras training for Ordination. The India Dhamma Trust will continue to ensure that funds are distributed to India in the most effective way.
What you can do
The main thing you can do is not do anything! Or if you do something, increase your donation to the India Dhamma Trust to help ensure we can maintain the Indian Ordination Team’s wages in a very demanding time.
Your donations will continue to go directly to India and to the India Dhamma Trust’s small overheads. Future Dharma Fund will be helping us in our work, and we will continue as an independent charity who needs your donations.
We would like you to continue to give to both India Dhamma Trust and Future Dhamma Fund - India Dhamma Trust will give solely to India, particularly the Indian Ordination Teams, and Future Dhamma Fund will give to projects all over the world.
We’ll keep our own board of trustees on the India Dhamma Trust who can oversee funds going to India and ensure they are spent most effectively.
I will also be a guest on the board of Trustees for Future Dharma Fund, bringing the perspective of fundraising for the Indian Sangha to their decision making.
Remember, we still need your donations to help spread the Dharma Revolution in India! Your donations are essential to enable the Indian Ordination teams to continue their work.
I have been keeping up to date with the news in India, and friends in India have been telling me what is happening. The current crisis in India falls disproportionately on the scheduled caste community. For the Indian Sangha, the desire to bring back Buddhism to the land of its birth, and with Buddhism, harmony, and love for a common humanity, is paramount.
Speaking to the Indian Sangha inspires me with hope and enthusiasm for a better world. I am so glad we can be part of that Sangha, and with this new development, give more to the people who can benefit the most.
Thank you for your continuing support,
Chair of India Dhamma Trust