A Buddhist Youth Training Centre (BYTC) was inaugurated on 1st March, 2015 in Jajpur District, Odisha. A statue of meditating Buddha has been installed at BYTC. Odisha Dalit Adhikar Manch (ODAM) has been working on the proposal of setting up of the Youth Training Centre for Buddhist over past two years. The inaugural function was presided over by Mr. Manas Jena, Human Rights Activist, Writer and Initiator of the process.
Bhante Sadattisha (Thero), Sri Lanka; Bhikuni Suniti, Nagpur and Bhikuni Sumedha, Nagpur unveiled the statue and conducted prayer. Many people from nearby area also converted to Buddhism on this occasion.
Later, a public meeting was organized on the eve of the occasion. Prof. Dr. Dhaneswar Sahu, Professor of Philosophy; Prof. Dr. Basanth Mallick, Department of History, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar; Prof. Sanatan Jena, Retired Professor of Political Science; Mr. Narayan Das, Mr. Nityananda Jena, Retired Bureaucrat of Odisha State Secretariat, members of Odisha Dalit Adhikar Manch and Mr. Harish Mahapatra, Social Justice Movement leader and Film Personality, spoke on the relevance of Buddha and Ambedkar in today’s context.
People, including activists, movement leaders from the different parts of the state and local youth, women and members of the district committee participated in the function and contributed to its success. This has created a new hope amongst the people looking for a democratic society based on principles of liberty, equality and fraternity in a caste and class divided society of India.
Published in Issue VI, May 2015