HERE'S A Krsna conscious project you might like to support or get involved in.
The BBT Library Party (India).
Hare Krishna Land, Juhu, Bombay.
Bhima Dasa Adhikari (Chairman), Mahamantra Dasa Brahmacari (Director), Padmanabha Dasa Adhikari (Business Manager).
To distribute ISKCON's books to educational institutions, public and private libraries, and the general public throughout India and Nepal.
The Library Party of the BBT (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust) was originally formed by Gargamuni Dasa in 1977 under the direction of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In spite of a lack of manpower and living comforts, the Library Party devotees traveled widely, often meeting with chief ministers and state ministers for education, who gave reviews and courteous recommendations for Srila Prabhupada's books. Journalists and newspaper owners occasionally gave free advertising for ISKCON's books, stirring public interest.
The party visited major educational institutions in cities and towns throughout India. In two years many school libraries bought the few English titles of Srila Prabhupada's books then available in India. The party stopped traveling in 1979, due in part to the inadequate supply of foreign copies of Prabhupada's books.
In June 1991 a reactivated BBT Library Party was formed. Now six devotees travel in a Tata 1210 bus and stay three or four days in each location. The devotees park the bus in the crowded city streets and attract the townspeople with kirtana. Four devotees alternately staff the book table at the back of the bus, where people get the chance to buy ISKCON books, now available not only in English but in every major Indian language. Two devotees visit colleges nearby. They meet the principals and introduce Srila Prabhupada's books. From June to December 1991, the party distributed 4,087 copies of Srila Prabhupada's books.
Bhima Dasa, a member of the original party, explains why the Library Party started again after twelve years: "The stack of files housing the records of the old party inspired us. Seeing the files gathering dust over the years made us realize we have a great responsibility to finished the efforts of the devotees on the previous Library Party. Their only motivation was the pleasure Srila Prabhupada felt by hearing of the book sales. Before leaving for America in the sixties, Srila Prabhupada himself led the way in library party work by distributing to government libraries in New Delhi his original three volumes of the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam."
In 1992-93 the Library Party will involve Indian well-wishers in financing the distribution of sets of books for schools that can't afford them. Preliminary proposals include distribution to the libraries of Madhya Pradesh state.
The vast geographical size of India and Nepal, the enormous number of libraries and educational institutions of all levels, and the paucity of funds in rural schools.
How You Can Help
Travel with the BBT Library Party (men only) and experience Indian culture while distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. Prabhupada encouraged devotees to stay for a year or more in India rendering devotional service.
Give a computer, much needed for organization.
Help set up a database.
Donate English books for poor libraries.
Give money or vehicles in India.
For further information, please contact:
In the U. S. A.:
Vaninatha Vasu Dasa
1716 W. Lunt Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: (312) 973-0900
Fax: (312) 973-7119
Bhima Dasa or Mahamantra Dasa
BBT Library Party
Hare Krishna Land, Juhu
Bombay 400 049
Phone: +91 (22) 6200357 or 6202921
Fax: +91 (22) 6200357 or 6205214