Vrindavan, 2017.09.27 (VT): Shri Vineet Narain has spent years of his life as a journalist on a crusade against corruption. But now, he has turned his full attention to restoring the ancient sites of Shri Krishna’s lila in Braj.
Although as a journalist he was able to expose many cases of corruption, the legal backlash, politics and accusations that went along with it were a heavy burden to bear. After coming to Vrindavan fifteen years ago, by the grace of Shri Radharani, Narain met Shri Ramesh Baba in Barsana.
Shri Ramesh Baba inspired him to begin rennovating the lila sthalis of Shri Radha and Krishna, and so The Braj Foundation was founded in 2005. In the beginning there was no budget and little support, but soon he was joined by some enthusiastic IIT graduates and specialists who understood this type of work. The organization’s first project was the restoration of Vrishabhanu Kund.
Since then, the Braj Foundation has successfully rennovated 60 lila sthalis over the last fifteen years. But this work, too, has not been without its tribulations.
Some criticize that The Braj Foundation is changing the original form of the Kunds, while others accuse the organization of taking over the Kunds’ property for private use.
Narain denies all the allegations against him as baseless. His organization, he says, does substantial research about the historical and cultural importance of each kund, and rennovates them keeping in mind the purity of the water, the health of the kund’s organisms, and other concerns unique to each site. In the past, he says, the allegations of using the Kunds as private property were investigated and proved to be false.
Regardless of the naysayers, The Braj Foundation has been quite prolific, spending approximately 20 crores on renovation projects. There are still 1,650 locations remaining on the list, and so the work goes on. As to foreign donations, Rs. 18 lakhs were received online since April 1, 2002, of which he says 9.75 lakhs have been spent.
When asked about the recent controversy over the government’s HRIDAY project, of which The Braj Foundation was selected as the city anchor, Mr. Narain became emotional. He said, “I am here to decorate Vrindavan, not to exploit it. As the city anchor, it is The Braj Foundation’s duty to interpret and implement the scheme. If something in the DPO (Detailed Project Report) is in conflict with the culture and ethos of Braj, then it is within our rights to request a change. There is also a charge of misconduct amongst my associates. I would like to say that there are numerous IAS and senior diplomats in my family. It is not in our blood to raise our voices. We are just here to serve Vrindavan, that is all.”
Narain’s current project is Sankarshan Kund in Anyor, which was restored with the support of Shri Chinna Jeeyar Swami of the Shri Sampradaya. The Kund is scheduled to reopen next week. The opening celebration will be held from October 3rd – 5th, with an abhishek of Braj’s largest murti: the deity of Shri Sankarshan Balram. Devotees from all over India are expected to attend the festival.
Source: Dainik Jagran
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