In India, the Triratna Buddhist Community is known as the Triratna Bauddha Mahasangha. Its work in India has two aspects: firstly providing facilities for teaching the Dhamma among Buddhists from the communities formerly known as ‘untouchable’, and secondly running social work projects to contribute to the betterment of those communities.
When Triratna’s activities started there in 1978 it soon became clear that simply teaching Buddhism was not enough. There was clearly a need for practical and material help, so a charity, Bahujan Hitay (‘for the welfare of the many’), was set up to run social work projects. These projects, which have educational, medical and cultural objectives, are now spreading throughout India.
The main educational project involves running 20 educational hostels for children who would otherwise not be able to continue their schooling. Other projects include kindergartens, adult literacy classes, and non-formal education classes. Medical projects include health centres and networks of slum-based community health workers. Cultural activities include the Asvagosha Project, which uses story-telling and song to explore issues relevant to local
communities, and karate classes for children, which help greatly in the development of self-esteem.
Find out more about the work of the Karuna Trust, who work on behalf of the 250 million people in India who suffer fear, oppression and violence because of their caste or ethnicity.
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