Our Project Manager, Gopal Patel, is currently in India for the next few months. Whilst there he will be working on a number of India-based initiatives for Bhumi.
The first is to develop an India-based Hindu chapter of the Green Pilgrimage Network which was launched by ARC last year in Assisi, Italy <http://arcworld.org/news.asp?pageID=493
>. He will be helping organise two conferences that will bring together civic and religious leaders from pilgrim towns across the country. The first will take place in Hyderabad in mid-October, during the Convention on Bio-diversity <http://www.cbd.int/cop11/
>. The second will be held in Rishikesh in late Novemeber at Parmarth Niketan <http://www.parmarth.com/
>, the ashram of Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji) <http://www.parmarth.com/swamiji.html
>. It is here where Gopal will be based during his stay in India.
The Bhumi Project is also working on an initiative in India to highlight the role of women on pilgrimage. As in other cultures, women play a strong role within Hindu society. This initiative aims to highlight that role by exploring how women can set a good environmental example for others when on pilgrimage.
Also in partnership with Parmarth Niketan, Bhumi will be working on a number of green initiatives for the Maha Kumbh Mela which is taking place early next year in Allahabad. Billed to be the largest gathering of humans ever, 120 million people are expected to attend the festival over a one-month period.
Alongside these initiatives, Bhumi also hopes to widen it’s network in India through partnerships, working with leaders in the Hinduism and environmental field, and establishing a long-term presence through a Bhumi India office.