The Buddhist Forum is seeking to rope in all 802 members of the two houses Parliament to protect the more than 300 sites associated with LordBuddha. Chief patron of the NGO, Siddhartha Gauri, told Hindustan Times on Saturday that after a “through national survey”, it was found that almost all Stupas were in bad shape even as these were protected by the Archaeological Survey of India or the state archaeological or culture department. “On the basis of our fmding we would request the MPs to look at the neglected monuments in their respective constituencies,” he said. “India remained the hub of Buddhism and has stupas across its length and breadth. Unfortunately only eight Buddhist relics at Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Sravati, Saniská, Rajgriha, Vaishali and Kushinagar are protected and promoted, whereas the rest of them are all in pathetic condition and even victims of encroachment,” he claimed.The forum’s survey claims to have identified 53 Buddhist relics in Madhya Pradesh and northern states including Haryana (14), Himachal Pradesh (12), and even Punjab has one stupa.
Siddhartha has produced a docurnentary “DhmmachhetraThe Lost Land of Buddha”, on the little-known fact about the presence of Buddhist relics in Haryana, which was aired on Doordarshan. The Tibetan Parliament-inExile and top Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama, have appreciated the effort to sensitise public on the neglect of several places once revered in the region.
“There is a need to look at a wide perspective. Most of these relics are based in rural areas, and if the government authorities plan for its preservation and promotion, the economic conditions of the respective area wifi getaboost,” he said. In December, 2009 the forum had submitted signatures of over 21,000 volunteers to President Pratibha Patil for the preservation of stupas.