Fund crunch but babus plan trips
EVEN AS the State government is facing massive fund crunch, officers of the Culture Department are preparing for a foreign jaunt to interact with the Buddhist community in Bangkok, Japan and Myanmar early next month.india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 10:53 IST
EVEN AS the State government is facing massive fund crunch, officers of the Culture Department are preparing for a foreign jaunt to interact with the Buddhist community in Bangkok, Japan and Myanmar early next month. A team of officials including Minister for Culture and Women Affairs, Rajendra Singh Rana, are all set to meet the Buddhist community for cultural exchange with these countries. The exercise is aimed at organising a conference at Sarnath (Varanasi) in December on the occasion of 2550 years of ‘Mahaparinirvana’ of Gautam Buddha.
The cash-starved government has sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the visit of five persons. The delegation will leave India on July 9 and return on July 19. Apart from Rana, an official of the chief minister’s office and Dr YP Singh, director, Tribal and Folk Arts Sansthan, others expected to go on the jaunt are Mithlesh Kumar, chairperson, Acharya Narendra Dev Bodh Vidya Shodh Sansthan and either the principal secretary or the secretary, Culture department.
Rana said, “It is a move towards building cultural relations between India and other Buddhist countries. Buddhism originated in India and went on to spread in other countries. Through this visit we want to bring Buddhist countries under one umbrella.” Interestingly, the same group will visit China, Korea and Sri Lanka in September again. This time Dr Rakesh Tewari, director, State Archaeology, will also accompany them.
Dr YP Singh said the trip was a good way of meeting followers of Buddhism in other countries. Ironically, not one person in this group is a follower of Buddhism.