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I recently had the opportunity to visit the Nagpur studios of Lord Buddha TV, a television network that serves over 25 million people from the lowest levels of Indian society. In spite of minimal funding and opposition from established media businesses, Lord Buddha TV has created a network that is “dedicated to the Life and teachings of Lord Buddha…and the life and mission of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.” The station offers news, Dharma teachings, music, information about atrocities, health tips, career guidance and documentaries about social reformers.
Lord Buddha TV has reporters and employees scattered over India and a core team of 40 working in Nagpur at the central office where programs are edited and broadcast.
According to the Manager the mainstream media in India features celebrities and sensational news rather than information about what is actually happening in society. For example, when Obama visited India and spoke appreciatively of Dr. Ambedkar none of the regular TV stations covered it. Lord Buddha TV is unique in that it carries news about a wide variety of Buddhist and Ambedkarite cultural, spiritual and political activities.
I was given a tour of the station by Sneha Gajbhiye, a young Triratna Mitra who works for Lord Buddha TV and produces a regular program on meditation. She showed me some sample episodes featuring Triratna Order Members who provide helpful advice and respond to questions that are submitted by viewers from around India.
The station live-streams over the internet at lordbuddhatv.org so people outside of India can see what it is broadcasting.
Lord Buddha TV is a remarkable project. It is fired by genuine idealism and manages to reach a huge number of people despite its low budget and minimal technical resources. One of its stated goals is to “establish linkages between Buddhist countries, strengthening bonds of fraternity, building solidarity and promoting cultural exchanges and understanding for mutual advantage.” It is an undertaking that deserves support from Buddhists around the world.