Bihar: A Glorious Past and An Uncertain Future

As I walked past a small hut the chorus of ‘ek duni do.. do duni char.. caught my attention. The sound was coming from the hut on my left. I took  this route many times, but never stopped to have a second look on the hut. It was so commonplace in a village full of huts. I stopped and so did a couple of people who were with me. One of them was a visitor from Japan.

There were around 20 kids in the hut, swaying back and forth and reciting  do ka pahada (table of two). Some of the kids seemed too young to be learning tables.  The teacher was nowhere to be seen.  Yes, this hut was one of the several centres under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). The kids spotted us, some kids stopped their recital and took stock of us. Soon, they realized that we are some random visitors making them victim of our stupid  curiosity. Soon a young lady, barefoot, hastily covering her head with pallu walked in to the hut. She was the teacher. Suddenly, there was more enthusiasm and participation in the recital.

ICDS Centre in Lalpura, Vaishali

ICDS Centre in Lalpura, Vaishali

There was a sudden onrush of mixed emotions. Nostalgia, pride, frustration, helplessness, happiness and hope were all mingled together. The kids were oblivious of the odds against them. Uncertain of what lies ahead of the hut. Many of them may were there because their parents sent them to get free food there. And, many of them will dropout after this school. But some of them will surely defy many odds to achieve what their parents never dreamt of.

Ashokan Pillar at Kolhua, near Vaishali

Ashokan Pillar at Kolhua, near Vaishali

It was very ironic. We were in Vaishali: birthplace of Lord Mahavir, workplace of Budhha and the capital of the glorious Licchavi clan. The hut was on our way to Ashokan piller and Abhishek Pushkarni : two reminders of our glorious past. Every person that you will meet from this area will not forget to highlight our past glory. I too, do it without fail when I meet someone who wants to know more about my home state. Often, this helps when I am not keen to discuss the embarrassing present and uncertain future.

A few meters away from that hut, one can find the world peace pagoda and several other palatial Buddhist stupa and temples. These stupas and temples are constructed by several Buddhist countries such as Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan etc. Every year a horde of tourist visit this place to experience and appreciate the work of Budhha and Mahavira.

I look at these temples and stupas which are meant for celebrating the teachings of our enlightened souls and several questions pop up. Would  kids there in the hut be able to enjoy and celebrate the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira? What if there were a few schools also built along with the stupas? What if there were enough schools here? What if teachers were inspired by  selfless services of Budhha and Mahavira?

Bihar Flood – How to help ..

There are three ways you can support the flood relief activity.
1) By sending your donation to below account numbers. The funds collected will be used to purchase necessary items (Our team working at ground zero keep sending us list of items which they need for flood relief work). Items thus purchases are send to Chandan who is leading the efforts from Patna.

Online –Transfer your donations to ICICI bank
Name: Ashok Kumar Sharma,
A/C Number: 005301022273,
Branch: Jayanagar/Bangalore
Please mention flood relief and your name in remarks section while transferring funds
Also mention your name in the comments (will help us track).
After transfer send an email with the transfer details to ashok.1857@gmail. com
We will send you a confirmation for the same.
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Sending donations through NGO (Prayaas).
Institutional Donor and as well as individual can donate via our Sister NGO PRAYAAS
http://www.prayaas. org/
PRAYAAS Contact No: 91-80-28441463
Please mention flood relief and your name in remarks section while transferring fund.
Mention your name in the comments (will help us track)Send an email with details to:Amitesh.Bharti@ in.bosch. com
make a CC to: ashok.1857@gmail. com
Account in on the name of: M/S Prayaas
Current Account No. : 10447347087
Bank Address : State Bank of India, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Bank Code : 3301
Routing Number (Swift No.) : SBI NIN BB 147A
MICR number : 560002021
Prayaas Official Address:
Mr. Amitesh Bharti,Prayaas( r),
C1-201, GreenWood Regency,Doddakannah alli village,Carmelaram
PO, Adj. Wipro,Sarjapur Road,Bangalore – 560035, India.
If you want to send a cheque/DD:Please send the crossed A/c Payee cheque in favour of,”SBI, A/c Prayaas, Current A/c No. 10447347087
Donar seeking Tax exemption under section 80G, please donate via PRAYAAS
The certificate & the receipt of your contribution will be dispatched by Prayaas. To get the certificate & the receipt of your contribution, Please email your name and address along with detail of your contribution to Amitesh at Amitesh.Bharti@ in.bosch. com
make a CC to: ashok.1857@gmail. com
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2) We keep updating our blog for the list of items which are required at ground zero. You can buy those items and send them directly to Chandan and his team.
You can find the contact details of our team in the blog. Feel free to ask them how you can send relief materials directly to Chandan and his team.
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3) Sending money directly to CHIEF MINISTER RELIEF FUND.

Bihar Chief Minister Relief Fund
Write a cheque to
A/C Name: “Chief Minister Relief Fund, Bihar”
A/C No: 10839124928
Bank: State Bank of India, Secretariat Branch, Patna.
Put your Phone number, name and address on the back of the cheque.Deposit the cheque to the nearest State Bank of India cheque drop box
Disaster relief State Control Room Number:: 91-612-2217305/ 2215027/6452572
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* *
NOTE: Kindly note that any left over money (In case we are not able to spend donated money) will be send to CM Relief fund. All donors will be updated accordingly when we decide to send money to CM Relief Fund.

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Please check the following blogs for more info..

http://biharflood.wordpress.com

http://biharfloodrelief2008.blogspot.com/

http://biharfloodrelief2008.blogspot.com/2008/09/for-those-who-want-to-donate-cloths.html

http://biharfloodrelief.blogspot.com/

Bihar Flood

Bihar is facing one of the worst floods and millions of affected people require every possible help to cope with the hellish situation. Any bit of help in form of donations/participating in rescue work would mean a lot for these people. Those who want to contribute/help people there can visit this site for more information. 

Why  does our PM needs to visit the flood area and then announce for the relief package? Was he not aware of the severity of the flood? Please stop playing political move at the expense of innocent lives….