Above: from the Sankissa mound, 2009; to right: school children near Sankissa, UP, India, 2009; YBS volunteers awaiting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sankissa, UP, 2015 (all photos taken by Colin Butler unless stated)
This NGO is a vision of Dr Colin Butler, who, in 1989, co-founded the NGOs BODHI in the US and BODHI Australia.
BODHI stands for "Benevolent Organisation for Development, Health & Insight". His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding patron, and has been since 1989. (See this link.)
BODHI India does not yet exist. It needs a board exclusively of Indian citizens (who are resident in India) and it needs seed funding. One potential board member has agreed (Suresh Bauddha, founder of the Youth Buddhist Society), others have shown some interest (eg Aryaketu, in Nagpur). I am not an Indian citizen, so cannot be on the board (see governance page if you are interested).
Why is this useful?
The independent NGOs of BODHI in Australia and the US have raised over $500,000 since 1989. Most of these funds have been used for projects in India, Bangladesh and elsewhere in Asia, including the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China). A list of past projects is here, current projects are here and here.
In recent years, the rules of the Indian government have changed significantly, so that recipients in India of funds from BODHI outside India need FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) status to receive foreign funds. (There is a possible loophole but it's so complex we can't face it; for our purposes it is impractical).
Some of the most deserving people and projects (such as to upskill the "barefoot" teachers in the Sankissa district) lack the organisational capacity to obtain and maintain FCRA status. That means that BODHI in the US or Australia cannot help these people materially, and nor can any other non-Indian donor.
BODHI India has to be authentically Indian, though funds for its projects are likely to be from BODHI Australia and BODHI US initially.
However, the running costs for BODHI India (e.g. the cost of meetings) will be raised separately from any donations given to BODHI Australia or BODHI US directly for the relief and prevention of poverty.
Ways to help: click here
Images of India