From Y’nagar to Pak , activists take onus to save Buddhist sites : Hindustantimes

Taking her cue from a Yamunanagar social  organization, a Pakistani archaeologist will approach UNESCO for a programme to save the Buddhist sites in her country .Talking to Hindustan Times over phone from Sindh on Thursday, Prof Mastoor Fatima Bhukari, archeology department, Shah Abdul Latif University, said various Buddhist sites were lying neglected in southern Pakistan.

“Though some of the sites have been damaged by the Taliban in the recent past in the northeastern region, various rock structures are still intact. But the situation in south.Pakistan is deplorable. People and government agencies here need to be told that these sites are vulnerable to permanent loss,” said Bukhari, who has done her PhD in

Buddhist and Persian sites in Pakistan. She lauded Sidhartha Gauri, founder-patron of The Buddhist Forum (TBF), Yamunanagar social organization, for launching a project to conserve ancient sites in South Asia. Bukhari said she would submit a detailed report on “unprotected” Buddhist sites for UNSF1CO’s consideration. “We will rope in committed people and organizations to spread awareness about the sites and help TBF achieve success:’ she said. TBF is spearheading a movement to identify’ and popularize “neglected” sites associated with Lord Buddha. Gauri’s film “Dhammachhetra: The lost land of Buddha” focuses on centuries-old Buddhist monuments in Haryana. The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in- exile have also lauded Gauri’s effort for highlighting Haryana’s undiscovered rich heritage connection with Buddhism. “It is unfortunate that nations in the sub continent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, have failed to consider the potential of tourism that can provide employment to the locals of the area where these sites are located. I am in touch with Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka and other countries who are willing to work on identifying and popularizing the forgotten glory,” said the 31-year-old activist.

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