Vrindavan is home to one of the largest populations of Hindus in the World. Millions of pilgrims come to Vrindavan every year for spiritual upliftment and quest for the higher truth. Thousands of foreigners live here and hundreds visit regularly. However, while Vrindavan should have been developed into a pilgrims’ haven it has become quite the opposite. In the past 10 years the unplanned urban development in Vrindavan has been going on without any consideration for the future of this holy place. Open sewage and rubbish leads to unpleasant sites. The diseases spread by it are a huge threat to everyone. Traffic jams and road chaos are a daily site. The forest areas are being cut down for construction, covering the real beauty of the place, making it impossible for the pilgrims to see what they really came looking for.
What if funders, local and national government, NGO’s and philanthropy, private investors, education board ALL worked together to apply the best strategies for the betterment of Vrindavan?
What if these strategies addressed all the key elements of what is currently stopping us from making Vrindavan an exemplary city, so that change is comprehensive and lasting?
What if Vrindavan became the social transformation success story of the decade – more prosperous, organised, and a Pligrims’ Haven?
This is what FFLV, with the support of Mr. Damian Hatton explored at Vrindavan Partners Meet.
In this separate workshop, the representatives of different institutions of Vrindavan- “Vrindavan partners” came together to address the issues hampering the development of Vrindavan. They discussed the various blocks in preserving the cultural heritage of Vrindavan and that there is a dire need for all the representatives in Vrindavan to come together to address the issue and work towards the cause. Some of the partners who attended the workshop were- Padmanabh Goswami- Radha Raman Mandir, MridulKant Shastri-Project Anurag, Abhay Vashisht- Prayas Sanstha, Panchagauda Das- Iskcon Vrindavan, Gopinath Goswami- Radha Gopinath Temple, Ambika Devi Dasi- Vrinda Kunj, Neeraj Saigal, Balram Baba and some more representatives of other institutions.
Mr Hatton facilitated them to explore the unique role that they think they can play and share their valuable ideas and experience towards building a better future of Vrindavan. Damian has been supporting us at FFLV for the last 12 months with strategic advice and guidance on how to best move the school forward over the coming years. Another aspect of what Damian is experienced in doing is ‘whole community change’ initiatives in US and Europe. This meet was a great opportunity to apply some of this thinking here in Vrindavan and Damian and his team helped us greatly.