Overview of the Asha
Seva Kendra program in Gomia,
students, past student and parents of the Prajna
Vihar School, 2015
Bodhgaya is the place
where the historical Buddha became enlightened some
2500 years ago. It is currently a place of pilgrimage
for people interested in Buddhism. It is in the state
of Bihar and one of the poorest and most violent
regions of India. Villagers tend to have very little
opportunity to change their circumstances. The
Bodhgaya Development Association (BDA) provides
support for long term initiatives to help the poorest
people in this part of India.
The BDA was
established in 1992 and is based in Brisbane
(Australia). It is an incorporated tax-exempt
non-profit organisation. We do not currently
(January 2015) have tax deductibility status but we
are in the process of applying for this.
The BDA has provided
funds for different programs. The longest program we
have been supporting is the development, running and
expansion of the Prajna
Vihar School, which provides education for
children of the very poor who would otherwise
receive no schooling or very low standard schooling.
Students on their way to
the Prajna Vihar School [in background, behind wall]
in the early morning, December 2012, with pigs and
piglets in the foreground.
From late 2014 we
started supporting three other programs.
One of these, called Jeevan
Deep, offers education and health services to
low case communities in and around Bodhgaya. We are
providing funds for the health care service.
The second new
program, called Asha
Seva Kendra (literally Centre Serving Hope) is
for education and support for marginalised tribal
women, about three hours drive south east from
Bodhgaya. This is the first time we have supported a
program outside Bodhgaya. We have an association
with the organisation providing this service through
our long term association with Sister Mary Lobo,
whose work in Bodhgaya we supported while she was
While we are providing
a small level of funding for Asha Seva Kendra, we
realise that some donors would prefer to support
programs in the Bodhgaya area. If you would like to
support Asha Seva Kendra, please specify this when
you make a donation.
The third new program
provides education on health issues and support for
marginalised communities in and around Bodhgaya. It
is run by a Sr Manisha, a social worker who has run
programs in poor communities for thirty years.
We have supported
other programs in the Bodhgaya area such as Mahisi
Gyanodaya Abhiyan (Campaign for Awakening
Wisdom) and Nari Jagran Manch (literally Forum for
Women's Awakening) a life skills, literacy and
community-based micro-credit program for low caste
and illiterate women and girls.
All work done for the
BDA is voluntary with adminstrative costs being
donated by people on the management committee in
Australia. Because of this, all money donated goes
to the projects themselves and no Westerner gets
paid from donations.
The BDA manages to
keep up its yearly support for the projects from the
generosity of people in the West. If you would like
to contribute or to find out more, please contact us.
Development Association Incorporated, 147 Richmond
Road, Morningside Queensland 4121 Australia
P: +61(0)7 3399-2017 E: bdadharma.org.au