Amitabha Buddhist Society knows their destination. We know what we have to achieve. Our planning and working methods are based on logical, scientific, technical, and humanitarian consideration. Many eminent personalities had stressed that unless the social standards of the of the poor in our country are improved, then only we can have a cultured society. At present there is no social value to the poor. Ignorance, illiteracy, orthodoxies, lack of skill and job opportunities prevail in the poor. These are the areas where we want to concentrate our improvement activities.
Ignorance: During our social survey in a nearby village of Pune, it was observed that those people were unaware of so many simple ways and means of general hygiene, cooking, water storage, waste management, kitchen garden, use of natural resources available around them. It was shear out of ignorance. Once some simple tricks were shown and explained to them in preservation of good health, cooking methods, storage techniques, use of natural resources, they were astonished and requested to teach them more about all other things, which will make their life simpler. ABS is aware that once, if some hard work outs of their daily life are reduced, they will have confidence in us and then they will accept us as their good friends. It will be easier then to take away their ignorance.
In city ABS knows that on State level lots of research and experiments are done to reduce human efforts and make the living simpler. The use of solar electricity, biogas generation for cooking, rain water harvesting, use of modern methods of agriculture for increase in agricultural output, simple tools and gadgets, good sanitation system, low cost housing, Govt. schemes for various rural development activities are available. But the rural population is not aware of it. We wish to pass on this information to rural areas so that they can take the advantage of those methods to improve their living conditions.
Illiteracy: Illiteracy is the main hurdle in any development. This is mainly due to non availability of educational institutions, competent teaching staff, parents’ negative attitude, lack of interest for study among students and there are many more excuses. Though this scenario is changing a bit know, but the agony is that the students are not allowed for higher education. In fact education is the door of knowledge. Simply the reading and writing is not enough. The modern technology is the success of development. The modern technology does evolution to improve our living conditions. They provide the knowledge to make us understand what exactly is happening around us. What is available for our improvement. How much it is useful to us. How it has created job opportunities. What are the minimum educational standards required if we have to get good job opportunities. ABS wishes to bring about changes in the minds of these people by motivating them; we wish to create interest among the students by removing the fear of study from their minds. Once they understand that their standard can be raised if they study more and more, the fear for study will be rooted out of their minds. We are committed to do that.
Orthodoxies:This is a virus which is destroying the social health. There are so many wrong believe which are big hurdles in the path of progress. Some old concepts are being followed from generation to generation. Perhaps those concept may be useful in ancient times, but in the present era, they have to be tested on social and scientific footing. If a person is ill, it is considered as the anger of evil power. Girls need not study more, as they have to just look after household affairs after marriage. The spread of any epidemic is considered as curse of god. Such type of belief is harmful for development of the society. This is mainly because these people have never gone out of their sphere to out side world. They are not aware of how similar types of situations are tackled by outside world. What they consider as incurable, is in fact curable in outside world. For every incidence, there is a logical or scientific reason and for every problem, there is a solution. Orthodoxies are still followed in many parts of our country and we read about it in the newspaper occasionally. We the members of ABS will try to take out patiently and skillfully the wrong practices followed by these rural people and teach them the logical and scientific approach to find solution to any problem.
Unemployment: Economic growth is the key to the success of development. The present status of the social environment is that the gap among rich and poor is quite large. Most of the poor are in rural areas. Lack of education, skill, and job opportunities are the causes of unemployment. The educational and technical talents are available in rural population. What they lack, is proper guidance and opportunities. Once the educational needs are fulfilled, concentration will be focused on development of vocational skills among the artisans. Self employment is best option in this environment. There are various trades and courses now available which are helpful in promoting self employment. These people have their traditional skills in crafts and textiles. By exploring market for their products, they can encash their crafts. Luckily, now a days, the movement of ‘Bachat Gat’ is quite strong in rural areas. Govt. is also offering all financial help to ‘Bachat Gat’ for economic growth of rural population. And many have taken good advantage of it. There are also many Govt. schemes for rural development activities. However the stress will be made to use the raw material from locally available resources. This will reduce the cost of raw material. The Govt. is organizing many training program for rural development. ABS will take the advantage of this, and encourage the rural population to take part. For economic growth, spiritual faith is always helpful. We have faith in Buddhism. Lord Buddha’s teaching has helped mankind to grow. This is not orthodoxies, but a world wide proven fact. We are sure that their spiritual faith in Buddhism will help them in their social development also.