President of India draws parallel between Buddhism and Tourism
In the recently inaugurated 6th biennial International Buddhist Conference organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, said that both Tourism and Buddhism have the people as their main focus and that the empowerment of both is possible simultaneously. Stressing on the immense business potential of tourism and its ability to generate employment till the local community level, the President sought to draw a parallel with Buddhism, saying that it is people centric and aspires to empower them.
Lauding the efforts of the government in developing infrastructure around Buddhist circuit, the President added that the government was determined to promote tourism in Buddhist destinations across India. Towards that end, the government has also sanctioned projects worth INR 350 crores to improve facilities across Buddhist destinations like Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Speaking on the occasion, he also added that the government was also involved with cooperative projects taking place with JICA and World Bank Group, including many others.
According to the President, there was still a lot to be done and issues to be overcome. Some of the issues were related to market research, limited interpretation of history, its narration and last mile connectivity. In addition, a new website developed by Ministry of Tourism to promote Buddhist tourism (indiathelandofbuddha.in), along with a new video film (India – the land of Buddha), were also unveiled by the President.
The conclave has seen the participation of over 200 delegates including researchers, monks, opinion makers from 30 countries of the world. The delegates will be taken on a tour to Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra and famous Buddhist spots in Bihar and UP to enable the delegates to be acquainted with Buddhist history and culture as a whole.
India’s Tourism Minister, KJ Alphons, while addressing the delegates earlier, said that Buddhism and Lord Buddha’s teachings based on peace, harmony and brotherhood are very relevant today. He also added that the various sites associated with Lord Buddha’s life will always motivate and inspire people. The conclave’s objective was to encourage people to people contact and bring those countries which share a common culture and heritage closer to each other, as well as promote a better understanding.
Japan is the partner’s country in this year’s International Buddhist conclave.