-Mahaprabhu told “Grihe thako bone thako sada Hari bole dako ….”
Srila Prabhupada also had that dream which is a success in so many towns, but now only by his blessings a dream to make a difference in the lives of the tribal people of India is coming true.
These tribal people are simple but with a great sense of intimacy with Mother Nature and thus they can easily personally get close to God if shown the right path.
They are, like everyone else, clearly falling prey to the ways of the modern world and it was necessary to make them realize the beauty of their own culture and lifestyle in order to pull them out of the strong clutches of the greedy modern world. With this vision in mind a journey started, the journey of ISKCON Tribal Care Initiative.
In order to touch the lives of the tribal people, it was necessary to understand them, to appreciate their culture, to feel their anguish; it was necessary to become their friends first to be able to bring about a quality change in their lives. Hence, ITCI embarked on a journey of visiting numerous villages and interacting with the tribal people residing there. It was done with a motive that it would not only help them to understand the problems that the tribals were facing but it would also help them understand the concept of ISKCON and how ISKCON could help them not by converting their religion, but by providing them with spiritual, social, emotional, educational and health care.
In December2015, the ISKCON Tribal Care initiative organized series of activity packed Assam Tripura Tribal Pandal Program, reaching out to far flung destinations. The program began from Kumarikata, a small town of district of Rangia, Assam with active participation of Hajong & Bodo Tribes.
- Srijiva Das-zonal secretary for Assam, along with Sridham Govinda Das-chief coordinator of ISKCON Tribal Care Initiative, were present to inspire the audience with a dozen of foreign devotees.
ITCI December program went on for a month with dozens of remote villages visited by the ISCKON devotees including HH Bhakti Purusotam Maharaj ,ITCI director.
The positive response from the villagers gave lots of inspiration and new energy to the devotees who had to take (at one time) a 4 hour boat ride and 1 hour walk to reach one far away village.
The one month journey finally ended in Agartala, the state capital of Tripura, where a grand event was organized on 26th and 27th December. The program saw the coming in of diverse tribal groups from different parts of the state. The Vice Chancellor of the Tripura Central University, Prof. Anjan Kumar Ghosh , graced the occasion.
The Assam Tripura Tribal Pandal Program was just a small step by ITCI to reach and connect with the lives of the tribals. It was indeed amazing to see the enthusiastic response from the tribals, who not only appreciated the unique endeavor by ITCI but also accepted them as a part of their lives and participated with great vigor and enthusiasm in all the events and activities. The program was a unique amalgamation of spirituality and cultural diversity.
But the journey is yet not over. ITCI has come a long way from where it began and it still has a long way to go from where it has reached.
Haribol for ITCI !