International Women's Day 2021: VidyavardhiniOn Mon, 8 March, 2021 - 12:42
I am Vidyavardhini, I live in Pune near Bhaja retreat centre (Maharashtra), India. I was ordained on 15th January 2017 at Bordharan retreat center, Nagpur. Mostly I travel all over India because I love traveling and meeting people, so I hardly stay at home. When I first contacted the sangha I decided to move to Maharashtra twelve years ago to understand and practice Buddhism from that time. It was clear that after some time, I had to go back to Bihar (because I am from Bihar and want to do something for women in Bihar) but I also wondered how this would be possible because I would have to leave Maharashtra, which means cutting off from the Sangha.
After my ordination I thought now it’s time to go to Bihar. The main question was how could I continue my chapter, Order day and connect with other sangha members? But now because of online activities and Zoom, all our activities are shifted so I can connect easily with not only Indian Sangha members but also International Sangha members. So for me personally the pandemic period gives me a solution and clarity about shifting to Bihar.
Presently I am working in a project named Triratna Youth as a national coordinator for girls, so for the last four years I have mainly worked with youth and supported them in their ordination process. For the last three years I have travelled a lot to understand the system of Sangha and visited many centres, organising workshops, retreats and meetings with young people. I have to plan my visit according to peoples availability, because either they are working or students, so it’s difficult to find time to give a few days for our activities. But during this lock down we have arranged many meetings and workshops by Zoom for two hours, which made them easily accessible. So during this period we have reached many remote areas which are hard to reach physically because of very long distances.
Some challenges I have faced:
1. Some of the youth don’t have a smart phone and they need to recharge data every month which is expensive for them.
2. In starting it was difficult for us also to understand the situation and transfer all our activities to online.
3. Sometimes I have to attend four or five meetings in a day which is quite challenging for me and it affects my sleeping and daily routine.
1. We have connected with many young people from all over India through organised continuous programs and developed friendships with them
2. We were able to organise many specific programs for beginners , Dhammamitras and GFR process youths.
3. We were able to organise some programs Internationally also which would not have been possible in person.
4. Many young girls started sharing their difficulties and asking for guidance where we developed trust and friendship.
5. I am also more available on the phone, so regularly I am able to talk with them and pass all the information regarding programs, so they are more regular in their dhamma classes and completing many topics.
6. I am in contact with around twenty girls regularly by phone which gives me satisfaction that during this time also we can give them Kalyanmitrata (Spiritual Friendship)
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