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Ahimsa Times - March 2001 Issue

Vol. No. 08

March, 2001

The Chader Mohatsav of Acharya (Shraman Sangh) Shiv Muniji Maharaj Sahab is being celebrated on 7th May 2001(8a.m) at Dharm Nagari, Rishabh Vihar, Delhi - 92.On this auspicious occasion several hundred Jains Saints will be reaching Delhi to participate in the ceremony. Beside other functions, several Diksha's will be performed on this day. Member of Jain community interested to know more about the program may please contact-

Akhil Bharti Swetambar Sthanakwasi Jain Conference
12, Bhagat Singh Marg,New Delhi-110001
Phone - 3363729, 3365420,fax - 011-3344380.

Shri S. S. Jain Sabha
Dharm Nagari, Rishabh Vihar,(Karkarduma Court),Delhi - 110092
Phone - 2142852,Fax - 011- 2161474,E-Mail -

This trust is actively associated in providing relief supplies to the earthquake victims in Gujarat. Jain Community members may send their contributions to this trust at ,
C/o - Mahaveer Vichar, Sakina Manzil -No. 2
324/30 Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Mumbai -400 004.

Jain Community of Delhi is actively associated with 2600th Janm Kalyank Mahotsav of Bhagwan Mahaveer . On this occasion Telecommunication Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has agreed to play the message of Bhagwan Mahaveer on 6th April, 2001on all Delhi telephones. A Postage Stamp on Bhagwan Mahaveer is also expected to be issued on this occasion.

The Federation Of Jain Associations In North America (JAINA) is organizing 11th Biennial JAINA Convention at Chicago from July 6 to 8,2001. It is expected that more than 11,000 Jain from all over the world will participate in this convention. The program include discourses by various scholars. The theme of convention is practicing Jainism in 21st century .Further detail about this convention may be requested from, Mr. Samprati J. Shah 1048 Memphis Circle, Elk Grove Village,IL 60007,U.S.A. Tel-8475240463,Fax-3127264274, E-Mail :

NEWDELHI: A life-size statue of Sahu Ashok Jain was unveiled at Kund-Kund Bharti in Qutab Institutional Area here on Sunday.

The bronze statue was unveiled by industrialist K K Birla on the eve of Jain's 68th birth anniversary. Ashok Jain, former chairman of Bennett, Coleman and Company and a prominent industrialist, was an active social worker and a leading light of the Jain community.

Launching Ashok Jain's multi-directional efforts in the field of cultural and social development, Birla said he was totally committed to his religion but had a different vision about it. "He tried to achieve integration of the two Jain sects while still relying on traditions and values. Bringing the Digambar and Swetambar sects of the Jain faith is a stupendous achievement in itself."

He added that Jain was a guiding light in his community. He was forward-looking and inspired people to look ahead."Even his statue, which stands erect while he may not be with us, seems to give a similar message. Death may take a person away but the ultimate truth is that the soul does not die. Through his good deeds, Jain continues to live as an immortal".

The statue was made by sculptor Ram Sutar, famous for his series of sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mrs. Indu Jain said non-violence was the basis of Jainism, but unfortunately the concept had a very restricted scope. She asserted: "Ahimsa does not only mean vegetarianism and protection of animals. If women and the girl child are not allowed to grow and become independent, it is an act of violence. my husband Ashok Jain always stressed promotion of women in all spheres of life. An ultimate gift to him could be a pledge for upliftment of women. We must all work towards it"

In the memory of her husband, she announced a scholarship scheme for the study of Prakrit and Sanskrit at the Lal Bahadur Vidyapeeth. She also announced a five-point programme for nation-building and urged the Jain community to come forward and help in this venture.

This five-point programme includes education for all, development of vanasthali or green belts in Delhi, adoption of 2,600 villages in Gujarat, turning the Mahaveer Kendra into a world centre and setting up of Ahimsa Nagar, a 10,000 acres colony in Hyderabad. She appealed to members of the Jain community to contribute to this venture by setting up temples, hospitals and schools in this colony.

In order to take active part in the 2600th birth centenary celebrations of Lord Mahavir at Delhi, Acharya Pravar Dr. Shiv Muni is proceeding towards Delhi. He had a two-week stay at Ahmedabad from where he has proceeded for Jaipur, passing through important towns of Patan, Sidhpur, Palanpur, Ambaji, Mt. Abu, Udaipur, Bhilwara and Ajmer. On the way, at Shankheshwar Parshwa Nath, he was received by Acharya Shree Prem Chand Suri Ji Maharaj and extended hearty and respectful welcome by the entire Murti-Pujak Samaj. He along with his group of saints is expected to reach Jaipur by the Mahavir Jayanti day, 6th April.

In order to extend relief to the earth quake victims of Gujarat, the Jain societies in various towns have played an active role and provided help in various ways with their full cooperation in the form of cash as well as kind. The youth wings of Rajasthan branch of All India Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Sangh, various Jain Associations at Amraoti, Chennai, Delhi, Bombay, Jaipur, Jodhpur and other places took active part in conducting relief operations.

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Surgical operations for curing Polio patients were conducted at Jodhpur by Mahavir International on 6th, 7th and 8th February, 2001. Three hundred operations were successfully performed by internationally famed, Dr. Adi Narayan Rao from Vishakhapatnnam. All arrangements, including operation, medicines, shoes, calipers, food and staying arrangements were provided free to all the patients. Generous aid and donations were received for this purpose from individuals and organizations.

All India Jain Federation, Hubli arranged free distribution of artificial limbs to 90 dis-abled persons at Madgaon in Goa state. The Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Manohar Parikar was present on the occasion.

An essay competition at all India level has been arranged on the occasion of Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th birth centenary by the ladies wing of Jain Conference. The suggested topics for the essay are:
1. The contribution of Lord Mahavir in the development and uplifting of women.
2. Bhagwan Mahavir and vegetarianism.
3. The principles of Jainism enunciated by Bhagwan Mahavir in the present context.
4. Bhagwan Mahavir and world peace in today's context.
5. Jain religion, literature and philosophy.
6. Bhagwan Mahavir's life and philosophy.
7. Significance of ahimsa in the present century.

The competition is open to all, except the saints and sadhwis. First prize will be of the value of Rs. 11,000/-, second Rs. 5100/- and third Rs. 3100/-. The last date of receipt of the essay to be written in 2600 to 3000 words is 6th April, 2001. It should be sent to Ms. Vinay Jain, National President, Women's wing, 79-B, Udham Singh Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana- 141001, India.

Dikha: Miss Kavita Runwal, was initiated to Jain order by Shri Vivek Muni Ji Maharaj, disciple of Shri Ganesh Lal Ji Maharaj at Lonar in Karnataka on 25th February, 2001. Thousands od followers took part in the celebrations.

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Shri Prakash Lall Jain, Chairman of Ahimsa Foundation was elected Chairman of the Anuvrat Samiti at Jodhpur for the session, 2001-2002. The organization, which has over 300 branches all over the country is actively devoted to the cause of moral development of children, women's education and development, eradication of drug abuse, spiritual education and various other social causes.

Courtsey - Dr. Sulekh Jain - Sugarland, Texas - USA

Reply from McDonald's

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's with your questions regarding the ingredients in our french fries. For flavor enhancement, McDonald's french fry suppliers use a miniscule amount of beef flavoring as an ingredient in the raw product. The reason beef is not listed as an ingredient is because McDonald's voluntarily (restaurants are not required to list ingredients) follows the "Code of Federal Regulations" (required for packaged goods) for labeling its products. As such, like food labels you would read on packaged goods... the ingredients in "natural flavors" are not broken down. Again, we are sorry if this has caused any confusion.

We hope you have found this information helpful and that we have the opportunity to serve you in the future. Thank you, again, for contacting McDonald's. Home Office Customer Satisfaction Department ref#:665483

March 18th was celebrated all over the world as Global Meat Out Day. The pictures show Models wearing garment made of fruits and vegetables to promote vegetarianism and encourage stoppage to cruelty towards animals on the occasion of Global Meat Out Day organized by Animal Rights International at Rajghat in New Delhi on Sunday, March 18, 2001.

Request By Mr. L. L. Achha Reproduced
Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav Mahasamiti , Bhagwan Mahavir Kendra, Near South Campus Delhi University, Benito Juarez Road New Delhi- 021 Tel : 4107195, 6113988, Telefax : 6888159, E-Mail :

Dear Sir,
The year long celebrations of Bhagwan Mahavir's 2600th Janm Kalyanak, starting from 6th April, 2001, would be inaugurated in Delhi by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India. Celebrations are beings organized, nationally and internationally, jointly by the Government of India and the Jain Community. I am enclosing a copy of Press Release issued by us for your information. You are requested to use your good offices and influence in having it published in the newspapers of your area.Your help will go a long-way in propagating the message of Bhagwan Mahavir.

General Secretary

In the benign presence of Jain Acharyas
Prime Minister of India
Hon'ble Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee
will inaugurate
Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav
on Friday 6 April, 2001 at 10 a.m.
at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi
You are cordially invited

Deepchand S. Gardi
Indu Jain
Working President

Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav Mahasamiti
Telephones: 6888159, 6113988, 4107195 Fax: 6888159 E-Mail:
Note: Kindly circulate this invitation to Jain families and others known to you in your area.PRIME MINISTER TO LAUNCH

New Delhi, March 17: The Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee will launch the biggest Jain Festival of the millennium in New Delhi on April 6, 2001 to celebrate the 2600th Birth Anniversary of Lord Mahavira. The 24th Tirthankar was the apostle of non-violence, truth, tolerance and social justice. The Prime Minister will also release a commemorative stamp to start the year-long celebrations. It had also been decided to observe April 6 as the AHIMSA DAY or the DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE.

Giving details of the mega celebrations, Shri Dipchand S. Gardi, President and Mrs. Indu Jain, Working President of the Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Janm Kalyanak Mahotsav Mahasamiti expressed the gratitude of the Jains of the world to the Prime Minister of India and his government for associating with the great celebration. The Government had set up an official National Committee for the country-wide year long celebrations with Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee himself as its Chairman and the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Shri Ananth Kumar as its Vice Chairman. The Union Home Minister Shri L. K. Advani several Union and State Ministers and leading scholars and Jain celebrities were also on the Committee which had drawn up a programme which had all the dimension of a great Cultural and spiritual festival of India, the Mahasamiti spokes persons said.

Addressing a media conference here, Shri Gardi and Smt. Indu Jain, who are also members of the National Committee, recalled with joy and gratitude the Prime Minister's brief but memorable address to the members of the committee in its very first meeting on December 9, 2000. Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee had said, "A tradition has been established for celebration of birth centenaries of great man in our country. There is no better way of remembering them than to take their teachings to the masses. However in the past desired attention has not been given to the work of permanent nature in these celebrations and we would like to pay more attention to this aspect now. To spread the message of Bhagwan Mahavira, functions, seminars should be held throughout the country in which eminent scholars may take part. The message of Bhagwan Mahavira should reach the common man not only in India but "throughout the world".

In his address to the National Committee, the Prime Minister had also underlined" that inspite of the fact that message of Bhagwan Mahavira is 2600 year old, its relevance is increasing day by day. In the world of today tolerance, non-possession and philosophy of Anekant can be of much use and the world is accepting this truth. In view of this we have to think together, how this message can reach the whole world and what part our embassies can play in this".

The Jain leaders were thrilled when the Prime Minister said that Rs. 100 crore will be provided by the government for the celebrations and the Department of Culture will be the nodal department for these celebrations. He had also desired that State level Committees should be constituted for organizing the celebrations in the States.

The Mahasamiti leaders said that after deliberations the National Committee had already decided on some very significant elements of the year long celebrations. An Implementation Committee had been set up under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture. On April 6, 2001 to be observed as AHIMSA DAY, there would be no slaughter of animals. Emphasis would be laid on creating permanent assets and building institutions like Mahavir Vanasthali Park in New Delhi as a model environment conservation project. Projects of Jain and Prakrit Studies will be encouraged. Incomplete works, earlier taken up in connection with Bhagwan Mahavir in Vaishali district and Pawapuri, will be completed.

They said that one village and one slum in each district of the country will be made a model village and Urban Development Area in respect of environment conservation, education and infrastructure like roads, safe drinking water and health care facilities. That would make the celebrations a poverty eradication and living conditions improvement project too.

Other important celebration projects included the preparation of a National Register of Jain Manuscripts, holding of a World Class Exhibition on Jainism with artifacts and manuscripts from Indian museums. It will be shown in Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. A special project will be launched for conservation of important Jain monuments with participation of the Archaeological Survey of India and the National Culture Fund. Setting up of IT Centres will be a very special project.

The Mahasamiti leaders appealed to the Jain community in particular and to the people of India and admiral of the culture of peace, which Bhagwan Mahavir symbolized, to fully support and participate in the national and global celebrations which had the blessings and benediction of all the great Jain Acharyas and world religious leaders who believed in peace, non-violence and the family of man.

Many valuable suggestions had been received and more were pouring in to make the celebrations a year of humanity and concern for fellow human beings. Concern for rebirth and development of the quake - hit people of Gujarat was a special feature. The Jain communities had already donated assistance worth over Rs. 100 crore. More was expected to flow in to help Gujarat overcome its tragedy caused by the nature's wrath.

Shri Gardi and Smt. Indu Jain said that the launching of the celebrations at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on April 6, 2001 will coincide with beginning of the celebrations in all the States and elsewhere in the world where the Jain Communities reside.

Britain started killing tens of thousands of healthy sheep, goats and pigs on Friday in a macabre final effort to end a foot-and-mouth outbreak threatening livestock and farming around the world. The head of Britain's farmers predicted the slaughter could lead to the death of one million animals in a mass cull expected to last several weeks. The new measures in the fourth week of the outbreak set off the first signs of revolt by British farmers already at the end of their tether. "There are a lot of farmers who will not tolerate anyone coming in and slaughtering animals that are not infected," Andrew Spence of a pressure group called Farmers for Action, told reporters. He warned of a "rural revolt." But Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) which backs government plans, said any action that eradicated the disease from Britain's shores should be taken. "I'm not happy having to slaughter any animals, I'm distressed at the state we're in. But I have to recognize that if it means we can stop the spread of this disease, then this is an action we have to implement,"Gill told reporters.

Under UK government plans, all sheep, goats and pigs within three km of highly infected areas will be killed. The disease, which was first detected at an abattoir near London on February 21, has since spread to 256 locations the length and breadth of Britain. It has also been found in France and there are suspicions it may have spread to other countries. Foot-and-mouth is not a threat to humans, but causes blisters in the mouth and on the hooves of cloven foot animals. The virus is easily transmitted from animal to animal and can also be carried on clothing and even on the wind. Large areas of Britain's countryside have been declared no-go areas and nations around the world are enforcing bans on imports of British and other European nations food products. Visitors from Britain are subjected to special inspections at airports and ports to ensure they are not carrying the disease on their shoes or in gifts of food. World commodities markets were braced for volatile trading as government scrambled to contain the spread. Traders expected bans on meat imports to increase demand for U.S. products, while prices of feed such as corn and soybean meal were poised to tumble because widespread slaughter will leave fewer animals to feed. In Britain, the visible signs of the mass cull were grim. Smoke rose from hillsides where destroyed animals were flung on funeral pyres while even near a main motorway workers laid a death bed of straw and coal for more carcasses. Neil Young, a Cumbrian farmer who rears cattle and sheep about 1.5 miles away from a confirmed site of foot-and-mouth, said the government's "slaughter-on-suspicion policy was not the right approach when the incident was so isolated."

A group of eminent Jain srawaks ans srawikas, consisting led by Smt. Sushila Bohra, visited several villages and towns of Chhattisgarh dustrict in M.P. to propagate the Jain philosophy among the masses and spread the message of Lord Mahavir. Others in the group were Sri Mahesh Ji and Sri Dinesh Ji Nahta. The programme included motivating people to start Jain schools to imbibe religious thoughts in the growing children, giving discourses and holding discussions. The work was highly commended by one and all.

The 91st birth day celebrations of Acharya Shri Hasti Mal Ji Maharaj were held at various towns and cities all over the country with great religious fervour, particularly, in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Indore, Jalgaon, Chennai, Banglore, Udaipur, Nagpur and Sawai Madhopur.

NEW WEB SITE www.bhagwan
A web site named, www.bhagwan has been prepared and is going to be hosted soon from Pune. It is reported to provide comprehensive information on the life and teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir.

A specially designed training camp on Preksha Dhyan and Science of Living was organized by Acharya Shri Maha Pragya Ji Maharaj at Ladnun in Rajasthan for the benefit of a large group of non-resident Indian Jains from the United States of America in the month of January, 2001. The programme was highly appreciated by the participants, numbering about 50 gents and ladies. The group was led by eminent Jain scholar and philanthropist, Dr. Sulekh Jain, past President of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America (Jaina) Jain Academic Foundation of North America (Jafna) and Jain Society of Houston, Cincinnati.

A religious contest for selecting the most learned girl, called "Gyan Sundari" was held for the first time in the country at Indore. Km. Surya Kanta Kothari of Ahmednagar was selected from amongst a group of 436 girl candidates, coming from different regions of the country and she won the distinguished and coveted honour of being named, "Gyan Sundari". The contest consisted of giving written answers to a set of 2000 questions, pertaining to Jain religion, philosophy, history and culture.

Shri Deep Chand Ji Sancheti belonging to Durg in Madhya Pradesh was accepted to the holy order of sainthood under the banner of Shri Sumati Prakash Ji Maharaj and Shri Vishal Muni Ji Maharaj at Gwalior in the last month.

Sad Demise of Saints

  1. Shri Chandan Muni Ji Maharaj, disciple of Jain Diwakar Shri Chauth Mal Ji Maharaj attained Dev Lok at Udaipur on 31st January, 2001

  2. Shri Santosh Muni Ji Maharaj disciple of Shri Gyan Muni J Maharaj breathed his last at Mandi Govind Garh, Punjab in the month of February.

  3. Shri Sajjan Kunwar Ji Maharaj, disciple of Mahasati Shri Sugan Kunwar Ji Maharaj attained Dev Lok in the last month at Bhilwara.

  4. Though the exact figures are not yet known, it is believed that more than 250 saints have died in the severe earth quake which rocked the whole of Gujarat and adjoining areas of Rajasthan on the 26th January, 2001.

May their soul rest in peace.

Sad Demise of eminent Jains

  1. Smt. Sajjan Kunwar, wife of Shri Sayar Chand Ji Kankaria of Jodhpur.

  2. Smt. Surji Bai wife of Shri Duli Chand Ji Nahar of Jalgaon.

  3. Shri Hira Chand Ji Lodha of Jalgaon.

  4. Shri Pukh Raj Ji Gurasa of Bidai.

  5. Shri Shubh Raj Ji Dhariwal of Jodhpur.

  6. Smt. Sayar Bai wife of Sri Hasti mal Ji Munot of Secundarabad.

  7. Shri Inder Chand Ji Mehta of Chennai.

  8. Shri Ganesh Lal Ji Bhandari of Nandeshma near Udaipur.

New Delhi - March, 21, 2001. During a Cabinet meeting held this evening, when Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpai was in the chair, it was decided after an interesting debate and long deliberations that eggs should be considered in the 'non-vegetarian' category. The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pramod Mahajan also informed the members that hence-forth, it would become legally obligatory for the manufacturers and traders to clearly indicate on the labels of all sealed packets and cans containing food items that the contents inside were vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The Government of India will soon issue an Ordinance in the respect. The Government has felt this need after the issue of animal fat, being mixed with tea leaves by the manufacturers, during its processing, has come to lime-light. A maximum time limit of six months will, however, be given to implement the requirements of the law.

A proposal to built a Jain prayer hall in the Himalayan holy town of Badrinath has brought protest from local Hindus. The dispute is centered on the modifications to an existing Jain prayer hall just outside Badrinath, one of India's mot revered temple town visited almost a million pilgrims. On 4 July a small group of men ordered the beautiful carved massive pillars of light-yellow Jaisalmer stone at the entrance of the temple Deo Dekhani-Dhar ridge to be destroyed. The pillars, classic examples of the beautiful Jain architecture, were supporting the outer part of a prayer hall of the Swetambar Jain pilgrims' home.

The 78-year old Jain monk, Jambuvijayji Maharaj, travelled almost 3,000 km on foot from Ahemdabad to spend the rainy season here with his disciples. It will neither have a pinnacle nor fly the religious banner of a temple, but like other houses, it will have a plain cement concrete roof. However, the local Hindus insisted that the carved pillars make it look like a temple.

Although the head priest of the Badrinath temple, P.Vishnu Namboodri and the local community do not oppose it, the Jains demolished the columns the next day and even stopped the construction, the plan for which had been approved by the sub-divisional magistrate of Joshimath. They created so much tension that the district administration had to return a 31" figure of Adinath from BC back to Haridwar. Local ordinances prohibit the construction of any temple-like structure within one kilometer of the Badrinath temple. The prayer hall was started three years ago with the Government's approval, but the final boiling looks like a Jain temple. There is also a financial aspect to it. At present the Jains traveling to Badrinath pay their respect at the Hindu temple. If a Jain temple is built in the same area, it will be likely to get the considerable offerings of the wealth Jain community, which currently goes to the Hindu temple.

Religious meet against female foeticide/ infanticide on 11th August 2001 at Delhi

"Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking, or so brutal as his abuse to the unborn or born girl child i.e. female feticide/infanticide".

In the past two decades, ever increasing use of prenatal sex determination tests, as to have selective female feticide has become a social criminal epidemic creating devastating effect on sex ratio, which is now lowest in the world . Over 50 lacs female feticide are taking place in this country.

We are sure, you are happy that Indian Medical Association and Medical Council of India took a historic stand on 7th August 1999 and has warned its members that any one found practising or supporting female feticide may lose their right to practice medicine.

On January 4, 2001 , the honourable Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihar Vajpaee stated "social custome and practices that have struck deep roots and are sought to be justified by citing religious sanctions, have resulted in deprivation of and discrimination against women. The continually declining sex ratio is not only disturbing for demographic purposes but also because it reflects the status of the girl child". He further emphasised that "We need to focus on hastening the process of change by creating an environment where every girl is able to realise her full potential and her rights are not circumscribed by social customs and practices. This is by no means an easy task. Government alone cannot achieve these goals. To succeed, we need the active involvement of all women and men, religious leaders ,community based organisations, voluntary associations, Panchayati Raj institutions, indeed the entire nation. We need to bring issues of gender equality and women's empowerment to the forefront of public consciousness."

Religious leaders can easily arouse passions amongst masses against this social crime. Killing of girl child in mother's womb is against all the religion and continuation of this crime in Hindu community exclusively is all set to give our Hindu religion an unsavoury reputation.

IMA, NCW and UNICEF are organising Religious meet against female foeticide/ infanticide on 11th August 2001 at Delhi in collaboration with religious leaders / social activists representatives from media, government, NGOs, educationist and legal experts.

Aim of this workshop is to debate on the issue, how fast to eradicate female foeticide from face of India and work out implementation strategies. We are confident if religious leader in Muslim community could do away the menace of female infanticide centuries today why Hindu religious can't do the same?.

For further details please contact Dr. Sharda Jain (Gynecologist) "Activist for Cause of Female Feticide) Life Care Centre, 35 Defence Enclave, Opp. Preet Vihar Petrol Pump, Delhi 110092, India, Ph: 2414049, 24563724 (R) 2215655 2455210 E-Mail -

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30-03-2001, New Delhi, Times of India

Prime Minister Vajpayee will launch the year-long celebrations of the 2,600 years of Lord Mahavira's Janma Kalyanak on April 6, which the government will observe as Ahimsa Day.

At a news conference on Thursday, Union culture minister Anantha Kumar announced a series of measures to preserve and promote Jain culture, monuments and literature during the year-long effort and put special emphasis on the welfare of handicapped children and women. The PM has announced a Rs 100 - crore corpus for these celebrations but the government plans to keep much of this assessed money requesting the Jaina community to lend support to various projects.

A 70-member national committee, chaired by the PM, decided some of the major elements of the programme a couple of months ago. Among these are decisions to set up state-level organizing committees, declare April 6 as Ahimsa and no-slaughter or meatless day, support gaushals, have a national manuscript mission to preserve, microfilm, digitise and promote Jaina and Prakrit literary treasures and create a national register of manuscripts.

The committee has also decided to take up projects for the conservation and upgradation of important Jaina monuments, a list of which is to be provided by the national committee and complete the work earlier in Vaishali district and Pawapuri. There are plans for an exhibition, displaying Jain artefacts and manuscripts, to be taken around the country - Delhi, Kokata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

April 6 will see the inaugural function at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here, addressed by a string of ministers, led by the PM with mangal pravachan by Acharya Vidyanandji, Acharya Vijay Inderdinn Surishwarji, Prof Mahendra Muniji and a disciple of the Acharya, Shiv Muniji. A commemorative stamp and coins of Rs 5 and Rs 100 will be released.

But the emphasis of the yearlong festivities, says the culture minister, will be on community oriented, permanent asset creation. With the assistance of the Union environment ministry, for instance, there is a plan to remodel New Delhi's Mahavir Vanasthali Park.

A special programme on providing artificial limbs is to be taken up, with institutions like those in Jaipur and Ahemdabad being asked to formulate a programme for the whole country.

A major initiative, the details of which are to be finalized by Friday, is to create a model village and basti, named Mahavir Kalyan Basti, in each district. The Jain community, says Anantha Kumar, has assured support for this project.

We invite Jain volunteers from different geographical area to join the team of Ahimsa Times Correspondents. The interested readers may send their profile and a photograph to The Editor at E-Mail:

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