Chandigarh: Haryana’s “Save Stupa” campaign, launched by a Yamunanagar-based documentary maker, has gone global with Myanmarese Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi agreeing to be a patron of the organization running the campaign. Suu Kyi met documentary maker Sidhartha Gauri when the latter visited her in Yangon in July, following her release from prison after almost a decade-long incarceration by the military junta government.
This is probably the only Indian cultural and spiritual campaign that the Nobel laureate has associated herself within India since her imprisonment.After the July meeting between the Buddhist Forum head Sidhartha Gauri and Suu Kyi, the Myanmarese opposition leader has sent a recorded video message to the organization, appreciating the cultural and spiritual efforts made by Sidhartha, who is a Hindu. Her message has also lent support to the Buddhist Forum in its efforts to save cultural and spiritual heritage.
Enthused over Suu Kyi’s support, Sidhartha on Wednesday declared to spread his campaign to save Buddhist heritage in entire South Asia. He said there are worthy Buddhist sites in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but most are neglected. He has already approached Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank, the micro-credit bank of Bangladesh, for supporting the cause.
The “Save Stupa” campaign has already roped in 23 organizations in India, including those in Jammu and Kashmir, to spearhead the movement. A website dedicated to the purpose has attracted at least 15 lakh visitors, from almost all major countries, he said. Sidhartha has persuaded Sri Lankan Magsaysay-awardee Dr AT Ariyaratne, who has an organization called Sarvodya spread across 15,000 out of 38,000 villages of Sri Lanka. Even Thailand-based World Council of Buddhist Universities has backed the Buddhist. Sidhartha is planning to visit the council in Bangkok soon.The campaign already has the blessings of former prime minister of Tibet, Samdhong Rinpoche. Sidhartha has made a 22-minute documentary on the plight of Buddhist monuments in Haryana and other states in India.