Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist non-profit FHSM renovates rural school for the underprivileged in India

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

Images courtesy of the FHSM
Images courtesy of the FHSM

Socially engaged Buddhist non-profit organization, His Sacred Majesty's Foundation (FHSM), announced that it has completed the renovation and replenishment of a rural school in the Jhajjar district of the Indian state of Haryana . The project, which concluded on February 9, is part of FHSM's ongoing efforts to support Dalit villages and disadvantaged communities in India.

“We recently renovated a rural school in Fatehpur village by providing school bags, uniforms, shoes, plates, stationery, sweaters and scholarships to the students,” said FHSM President Dr. Reverend Gauthama Prabhu, at BDG. “In addition, we also repainted the entire school building, repaired the damage and renovated the school building by providing a drinking water tank, reverse osmosis filtration system and water coolers. »

Headquartered in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, and active in nine Indian states, FHSM is founded and guided by the principles of socially engaged Buddhism, with a focus on helping disadvantaged and marginalized communities. The foundation's work is based on four major propositions: social transformation through the strengthening of grassroots democracy and good governance; and sustainable livelihoods, education and social empowerment; promote alternative health systems; and the protection and conservation of ecosystems. The FHSM is affiliated with the International Network of Committed Buddhists (INEB).

Reverend Gauthama Prabhu. Image courtesy of FHSM

“This project aims to prevent school dropouts among Dalit children and underprivileged communities, and further encourage them to pursue higher education,” explained Rev. Prabhu. “The village of Fatehpur is governed by khap panchayat* and indeed, it is difficult to work exclusively for Dalit communities. But beyond these social barricades, there is the hope of social democracy, for which we persevere in the struggle through Babasaheb's (Dr BR Ambedkar) vision of Prabuddha Bharat (awakened India).

India's Dalit community faces frequent social and economic exclusion due to India's conservative Hindu social hierarchy. Dalit, which translates to “broken” in Sanskrit, is a term for the lowest castes, which the “upper” castes still consider “untouchable” today, despite legal prohibitions on the practice in the Indian Constitution.

Generally considered to date back more than 3 years, the caste system in India remains culturally pervasive. Although discrimination against lower castes is illegal, segregation, discrimination and exploitation remain a daily reality for the country's estimated 000 million Dalits, who are not allowed to attend the same temples or schools, or even to drinking from the same cups or wells as the “upper castes”. » castes. To escape this entrenched discrimination, many Dalits turned to Buddhist conversion, which offered them new community and opportunity, as well as a renewed sense of confidence and self-worth.

Images courtesy of the FHSM
Images courtesy of the FHSM
Images courtesy of the FHSM

“Renovating a school offers the community a chance to invest in its future and provide a safe and welcoming environment for children,” Rev. Prabhu emphasized. “Renovating schools also means new jobs, creating economic opportunities for people who live in this region. We are delighted with the achievements made during the distribution of educational materials for these poor students. The initiative is considered a pilot project and replication will take place based on the results of this pilot project with the aspiration of reaching other disadvantaged communities in Jhajjar district.

Named in commemoration of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (rc 268-c. 232 BCE), a key figure in the spread of Buddhism across Asia, His Sacred Majesty's Foundation was established in 2007 with the mission of " preserve, promote and disseminate the principles of liberty, equality, fraternity and social justice through non-formal education, sustainable livelihoods and conservation of ecology, alternative/preventive medicine, empowerment social, social advocacy and social development in order to restore the human dignity of the poor and marginalized. (Facebook)

Contact the FHSM for more information:

E-mail: (protected email)
Phone number: +91-44-2228 2218 / +91-97-9123 9333

International donations:

Account name: Trailokya Baudha Mahasangh Sahyak Gana
Bank: National Bank of India
Account number: 40109020696
Fork: Selaiyur, Chennai
Swift Code: SBININBB104
IFSC code: SBIN0000691

Donations in India:

Account name: Foundation of His Holy Majesty
Bank: HDFC Bank
Account number: 50200057087992
Fork: Selaiyur, Chennai
IFSC code:HDFC0000676

* Khap panchayat are informal and technically illegal social institutions that regulate groups of villages in certain rural areas, usually ruled by dominant castes.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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