Compassion in Action: Celebrating the 35th Birthday of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Kagyu Monlam Grounds,
Bodhgaya,
June 26, 2020

Organised by Monlam CEO, Lama Chodrak, and Monlam Secretary Jangchup Lingpa, the Compassion in Action Projects of the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust continue throughout the year in Bodhgaya and its environs, and now are extending beyond Bihar. In order to mark the auspicious occasion of the 35th birthday of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (June 26th, 2020), the project undertook several initiatives:

1. Provision of plastic sheeting to offer protection during monsoon.

Following the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an extensive lockdown across India. During this challenging time, we have been distributing dry rations to many poor local villages. On our last visit to Bakrour village, we came across a newly established settlement of 150 Dalit families living in grass huts that offer little protection against the elements. We measured the size and requirements of plastic sheeting to protect them from the torrential monsoon rains and ordered good quality sheeting from Kolkata. Today, the Kagyu Monlam team, led by Lama Chodrak, visited the village. In the presence of a village head and a local bikkhu, we distributed the customised sheets to 150 families. Now they can welcome the monsoon rain with a big smile, and that makes us very happy too. The beneficiaries of this project are the families of Jagan Manjhi, Indra Devi, Shanti Devi, Panpa Devi, Shela Devi, Jagath Manjhi, Rakesh Manjhi, 150 families in total.

20200626 Provision of plastic sheeting to offer protection during monsoon

2. Tree planting programme.

Bearing in mind His Holiness’ advice on developing a greater awareness of our deep interconnectedness—both to one another and to the planet—Kagyu Monlam initiated a tree planting programme in the Kagyu Monlam grounds. In celebration of His Holiness’ birthday, we are continuing this programme during the monsoon season, with more plants and environment-friendly activities.

20200626 Tree planting programme

3. Dry ration distribution in Gurpa.

This planned activity had to be postponed because of heavy monsoon rain. However, on June 27th, Kagyu Monlam will distribute 1000 packets of free essential dry rations of rice, dal, sugar, soya bean, salt, biscuits, soap, and matchbox to poor people in a village in Gurpa, the mountain where Mahakassapa waits for Maitreya.

4. Distribution of essential groceries in Ladakh.

Compassion in Action is now extending beyond Bodhgaya. In the presence of Chief Representative Officer, Sonamling Tibetan Settlement, Ladakh, staff distributed free essential groceries to the 1092 Tibetan families in Ladak, including 12 camps, the TCV school, and people from the Changthang settled in Choglamsar, Leh. This activity was organised in association with the Tibetan Settlement Office, Ladakh and the Central Tibetan Relief Committee of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala, H.P.

20200626 Distribution of essential groceries in Ladakh.

5. Lunch for elders in the Choglamsar Old People’s Home.

As a gesture of respect for their years of contribution to our community during the early struggle of the Tibetan refugee settlement, Kagyu Monlam offered a special lunch and pocket money to elders in the Tibetan Old People’s Home at Choglamsar, Ladakh.

20200626 Lunch for elders in the Choglamsar Old People’s Home

 

 

Finally, all the Kagyu Monlam team held a brief butter lamp offering and cake cutting in celebration of the auspicious occasion. Sri Kumar Sarvjeet, Member of the Legislative assembly for Bodhgaya, was the chief guest, and the event was hosted by Lama Chodrak in the Kagyu Monlam Library.

Brief Butterlamp and Cake Ceremony at the Monlam Building

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