Thursday, September 29, 2011

Felicitation of Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji- Chechar

Sanghassa Patiţţhāpako Mahā Kassapa Yāvajīvam Sammānopādhi
About the Honour
 Community involvement for the heritage management is the theme of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara Sanskritik Gram (NNMSG). And an important component of heritage management is protection of the heritage. The advocacy and efforts of individuals and village level institutions for the protection and preservation of the Buddhist Remains should be encouraged and appreciated. In the past, NNMSG has acknowledged the contributions of Heritage Leaders from the neighbouring villages of Nalanda. The RABPB Project in Collaboration with Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), Department of Buddhist Studies (Nava Nalanda Mahavihara) and NNMSG proposes to take this acknowledgement to a next level by instituting an award in the honour of Venerable Mahā Kassapa, whose contributions to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha is beyond words.

Conferring of the First Mahā Kassapa Honour
The RABPB Project Committee unanimously decided to Honour Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji for his lifetime contribution towards the protection and preservation of the heritage of Chechar (Vaishali). 
The award was conferred to Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji on occasion of World Tourism Day.

Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji with the Citation trophy
Dr. Panth welcoming Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji
Dignitaries offering the Trophy to Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji
World Tourism Day- Dignitaries on Dias
Contributions of Shri Ram Pukar Singh

Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji was born in 1923 in Chechar. He actively participated in Indian Freedom Struggle and spent one year in Muzzafarpur Jail on sedition charges in 1942.

In 1975, Shri Subramaniam a close associate of 2nd President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan visited Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji looking for the “Ananda Stupa” following the travelogues of Xuanzang.
Shri Subramaniam felt that the Chechar should be the place of the “Ananda Stupa”.  Together they visited around eight stupa mounds in vicinity of Chechar.

His meeting with Shri Subramaniam exposed him to the historic value of the place. This realization made him aware of his responsibilities. The Heritage of Chechar had many dimensions but the most demanding issue that required immediate attention was safeguarding the antiquities scattered all around the Chechar. Chechar and its surroundings has a long mound that runs parallel to the river Ganges and annual floods washes off the mound exposing precious antiquities.
It was an enormous task, walking miles for days along the Chechar coastline collecting antiquities from the layers of sand. The task was coupled with convincing people to donate their collections and not to sale it to spurious traders. He worked tirelessly understanding the rich past of the place and then educating the community, instilling a sense of pride among them towards legacy of Chechar.

Another important task was generating awareness among the wider world and other stakeholders. In 1976, Shri Ram Pukar Singh met the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. He carried some antiquities from his collection to show her. Prime Minister Smt Gandhi got highly impressed with what she saw and what she was informed by him. She immediately asked authorities to conduct exploration and excavations at Chechar.
In 1977, Archaeological Survey of India conducted exploration followed by excavations in 1978. The excavation opened many hidden treasures in the Indian archaeology and history. True to Shri Rampukar Ji’s expectations the finds of Chechar brought Chechar on Archaeological Map of the world.  Smt Gandhi in her visit to Bihar met Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji and discussed the progress.

His next mission was to get a museum for antiquities of Chechar at Chechar. With support from local Member of Parliament Shri Ram Vilash Paswan a museum was constructed at place. This museum receives many national and international visitors, patrons of antiquities and followers of the teachings of the Buddha annually.
Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji is also making consistent efforts to safeguard and secure the stupa mounds in Chechar and around and one among them which he believes is “Anand Stupa” at village Madurapur near Chechar. He understands how important it is to preserve the “Ananda Stupa”, for the revival and development of ancient Buddhist Pilgrimage walked by Fahein (5th CE) and Xuanzang (7th CE).

Now Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji is in his late 80’s, lost his eyesight, partially deaf but still he is working tirelessly to share his passion and pride for Chechar with the countless people who visit him.
Sharing a glimpse of the awareness work done through News Papers and Letters by Shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji since 1976.


kumar said...

one man army.....

VK the BOSS said...

Dear sir

Thanks for sharing these information. I am Viaks K Sinha, form Bajitpur Chkasturi, Sahdei Buzurg, Vaishali, Bihar, my village is very near to chechar village. I want to know more and more about this place, can you provide me fresh scanned copy of these news paper or any other information because i am not able to read in these picture. please send me if possible. I want to know one more thing. I want to know that is there any Ramayan Book written in urdu language?? please give these information if possible.

Thanks again

Deepak Anand said...

Dear Vikash,

thanks for appreciation. You can contact shri Ram Pukar Singh Ji who is doing a lot for preservation of heritage of Chechar. All the news paper cutting and the private collection of the antiquities are currently lying at Chechar Museum.