HERE'S A Krsna conscious project you might like to support or get involved in. We'll tell you what the goals are, who's involved, what's going on, what's blocking the way, and how you can give a hand.
Reviving the sacred forests of Vrndavana.
Ranchor Dasa, 40, from London. Ranchor joined the Krsna consciousness movement in 1970. He is a writer and a consultant on multi-faith and environmental issues.
Vrndavana, Krsna's holy land and one of the most popular pilgrimage centers in India, is in a serious state of deforestation, environmental neglect, and pollution.
"We aim to stop this decline," Ranchor Dasa says, "and to encourage a sense of ecological responsibility among the local people through education and community action."
Ranchor Dasa will use the Vrndavana project as an opportunity to work internationally with the World Wide Fund for Nature to promote an awareness and understanding of the environmental values contained within the Vedic tradition.
The focus of the project will be the restoration of the pilgrimage path around the town of Vrndavana, regularly walked by large numbers of pilgrims. A tree nursery and information center will be established to raise indigenous trees, flowering shrubs, and religious and medicinal plants for replanting along the path. The local community and pilgrims will help plant and restore the path.
The program will educate local people, pilgrims, and the wider community of devotees about the care of Vrndavana.
The nursery is being established now. In September 1991 design work will begin on the exhibition and information center at the nursery site. Janmastami 1992 (August) will see the official launch of the project: the first trees will be planted along the path; the exhibition and information center will be opened to the public; and books and resources for schools, the local community, and pilgrims will be published.
How You Can Help
Volunteers are needed to work in Vrndavana as organizers, community workers, and researchers.
Anyone with a special knowledge of tree husbandry, forestry, or gardening is particularly welcome.
Help is needed to raise funds from international government agencies, voluntary agencies, and charitable trusts.
Limited funds are available to support the right persons to work in India. For further information contact: Ranchor Prime, 10 Grafton Mews, London W1P 5LF, England; phone: (0)71 380 0749. Or contact: Tosana Krsna Dasa, ISKCON Guest House, Raman Reti, Vrindavana, U.P., India.