KOA India Outreach program
Jagti Township School: Raj Kachroo ji is working with the J&K Government to remove the barrier which was created by a bureaucrat. Unfortunately the new State government is distracted and I have not received an update. Raj Kachru ji will travel to Jammu on the 25th of this month and we will see what the Government’s attitude is. I did discuss with Moti Kaul ji that if the government school is not made available to us then he would initiate discussions with Mr. Roshan Lal who runs a private school in the same area to see if he can be the conduit for delivery of the services that we plan upon.
Heritage Center: Met with Mr. Vinod Pandit who has presented us with a proposal for the Mata Katyayani center which is with the Board and should provide me with feedback if any. I am awaiting some paper work on the organizational structure at which time we will proceed ahead with funding the rebuild of the Mata Katyayani center. AIKS is conducting a feasibility study of the Ganpatyar site to determine if that would be a good candidate for the Srinagar based center. They will then send us a project proposal. Vijay Dhar ji who is part of the KOA Heritage initiative and will be intimately involved in both the Ganpatyar and Mata Katyayani temple is in close touch with Mr. Ramesh Pandita who lives right across the temple. Raj Kachroo will visit him as part of the feasibility study.
Tengapura Durga: I met with ASI. I was pleasantly surprised that they had become quite forceful and proactive. They had gone to Srinagar and filed a FIR. They had tracked down the photograph of the Durga within their archives. I had already provided all of the materials to the German Ambassador. The Linden museum came back with a “compromise” proposal that the Durga could be treated as a permanent loan to them. Thankfully ASI has rejected that stance forthright and asked for the return of the Durga.
Temples and Shrines Bill: I have given my recommendations on next steps regarding the Bill and also the recent ruling by the Judge on the Land appropriation case. The ruling is quite dangerous and has severe downsides for the community because while well-meaning the Plaintiffs may have scored a self-goal. I have alerted the community in India on this and will await the response.
Heritage Books: I have put together a small team under the leadership of S. S. Toshkhani ji to see the feasibility of publishing a book on our sacred arts especially those visual materials which will be aids to our daily lives. Vinod Razdan ji in Delhi has agreed to be the project lead on it. Bhushan Khashu has agreed to Chair it from the US end.
Control: Rajeev Kaul ji, KOA Treasurer, will provide a cash control report which we will request all recipients of KOA moneys to provide so that we have IRS compliance. In addition I continue to put pressure on AIKS to move ahead with its FRCA compliance but the NGO climate has really tightened up recently in India.
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