Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar popularly known as Babasaheb was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the modern Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination against untouchables, women and labour. He studied Buddhism all his life and around 1950 he devoted his attention to Buddhism. As the founder of the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasaba or the Buddhist Society of India, he formally accepted the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts before converting 500,000 supporters who gathered around him.
In commemoration of his 60th Anniversary, the Ogawa Society Nagpur, The Buddhist Society of India together with the Buddha Spiritual Park will be organising a series of events including an exposition of sacred relics of Kapilavasthu and Sacred Relics of Neelagiri from Sri Lanka from Nagpur covering Vidarbha Region and some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhatis Garh, India. These events will be held from October 4 to 23 parallel to the launch of the Dhamma Mahotsav and International Buddhist Peace Conference at the Dragon Palace Temple in Nagpur, India.
In addition to that the premier screening of the Hindi version of Sri Siddhartha Gauthama will also be held at this special occasion in aid of the Buddha Spiritual Park and Mahamaya International Buddhist Residential School in Nagpur. Speaking at a media conference to highlight the value and importance of these events, Navin Gooneratne, Chairman of the Light of Asia Foundation welcomed the delegation from India to announce the series of events which will be held in India. “Dr. Ambedkar has made a huge sacrifice in the name of Buddhism and it is our duty to appreciate his work in a grand scale. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Indian delegation present here to extend their support to this worthy cause.”
The delegation included Shri. Raj Kumar Badole, Social and Welfare Minister, State of Maharashtra, Shri Ram Das Aathwale, Member of Parliament, Smt. Adv Sulekha Tai Kumbhare, Ex Minister and Founder President of Ogawa Society, Nagpur, Shri Chandrabodhi Patil ji, National President, The Buddhist Society of India, Nitin Gajbhiye, President, Buddha Spiritual Park and Gagan Malik, Main star, Sri Siddhartha Gauthama film.
Among the VIPs representing Sri Lanka would be Venerable Banagala Upatissa Nayake Thera, President of Mahabodhi Society, Sri Lanka, Dr. A. T Ariyaratne, President of Sarvodaya Movement, Dr. Senerath Dissanayake, Director General of Archaeology, Bandula Weerawardana, Custodia of Kapilavasthu Relics and Navin Gooneratne, Chairman of Light of Asia foundation. Pics by Kushan Pathiraja