March for Peace and WASH in Ladakh
Providing Facilities to Nuns and Girls in Ladakh
During the Worship for WASH Summit in Ladakh, DSF’s President visited the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre with interfaith leaders and the Hon’ble Science & Technology Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhanji to inaugurate a special Interfaith Peace Garden and ceremoniously perform the ground breaking of a toilet structure near the centre’s Meditation Hall, which previously lacked access to nearby sanitation facilities.
At the ground-breaking, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said,“This toilet structure symbolizes the union of Meditation and Sanitation, which is the need of the hour. No longer can our worship and our prayers be only in our places of worship, it is time that the come out to the streets and reach out to the people.”
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati emphasized the need for toilets for women and girls by saying, “Nearly 595 million people lack toilets in India. Millions of girls and women fall prey to violence, threat of wild animals and basic indignity on a daily basis due to open defecation. In India we are emphasizing education for the girl child. This is a wonderful initiative, but if we don’t simultaneously emphasize provision of proper toilet facilities, these same girls will drop out of school when they reach puberty. A tragically large percentage of girls’ education ends when they start menstruating due simply to the lack of hygienic, private toilet facilities where they can keep themselves clean.”
She also visited the nunnery for the Buddhist Nuns and toured the school on campus. She pledged to provide any necessary furniture and requirements for the women saints and the girls there.