Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bihar forms 14000-km long human chain against dowry, child marriage

Bihar forms 14000-km long human chain against dowry, child marriage

On 21st January Sunday, 6th grade to 10th grade students from our Surya Bharti School participated in an big event to make human chain which was held all over Bihar state.

It was a campaign to support the law against Child marriage and dowry system. 

The new law was settled by Bihar state government.

Although Child marriage and Dowry system were already banned by law long time ago all over India, there weren't many people following the law.

We, Surya Bharti School have been educating about preventing Child marriage from more than a decade.

Child marriage is very common in rural villages around Bodhgaya.

Usually, parents decide their daughter's marriage and her husband to be when their daughters are around 8 years old.

It is called first marriage, and the boy and the girl usually stay at their parents houses separately.

It is like an engagement.

But, in some cases, there are very young girls around 7 or 8 years old who are sent to her husband's house as a labor to help farming or households.

When a girl start having menstrual system, she would be sent to her husband's house permanently after having their second marriage ceremony.

They are about 13 to 15 years old.

In the beginning of our school since 2001, there were many girl students (around 13 years old) who suddenly quit school because of forced marriage by their parents.

I was shocked that a girl who was a brilliant student were forced to marry when she was in 6th grade.

After that, I asked our teachers to help give education about legal age of marriage to our students.

In India, the legal age of marriage for a girl is 18 years old and for a boy it is 21 years old.

If children get education and jobs, become rich, their parents could live easily in the future.

I Recommend marriage after getting job.

(there are many cases that children got married when they were students or at a very young age. It is difficult for them to continue their education, so they give up education and become seasonal worker.)

It is very important that girls get education because they will take care of their children's homework at home after becoming mother. The more better education a girl gets, the more their children's ability to study becomes better.

If women gets education about how to care or nurse when their family member especially small child gets sick or gets injured, they can help them very much. 

If a mother has knowledge about hygienic life or infectious diseases, she can save her children and family members from diseases. 

I have been telling these above things to the parents in various occasions.

And, of course, we participated in this human chain.

I'm afraid that this law can not make all the people to follow it.

The tradition can not be changed easily, without very strong actions by police.

Dowry system is also a very big issue.

It is a custom continued from ancient time, that bride family give dowry(money) to bridegroom's family at the time of marriage.

The dowry amount is cheaper when a girl is younger.

That is one of the main reasons that there are so many child marriage in rural area.

If parents want to get a daughter's husband to be rich then they have to pay much more dowry.

Parents who have many daughters have to pay dowry for each of their daughter's marriage which leads to serious economical problems.

In India, ultra sound test for foetus gender determination is banned strictly, because there are so many cases that people get abortion when they find their foetus gender are female.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar settled a law to ban Child marriage and Dowry system strictly in Bihar State in order to get rid of the bad custom.

I agree with him indeed.

I would like to spread this activity to more people with the help of teachers and the students of our school to co-operate with Bihar state government.

Monday, March 19, 2018

NGO CSW62 Forum New York, "Rural Women's Empowerment, Leadership and Success"

Hi, friends!

I've got a great opportunity to give a speech at NGO CSW62 forum of UN!

I'm going to give a speech about the situation of girls in rural area in India.
"Challenge in India to overcome poverty and encourage girls~ through charity for education"

NGO CSW62 Forum New York

"Rural Women's Empowerment, Leadership and Success"

Discover Your True Potential
New Educations and Opportunities

The NGO Commission on the Status of Women, NY CSW62

Join us for our Parallel Event
Rev. Nicole Sakurai President El Cantare Foundation
Yuki Inoue Bodhgaya Children Aid Charitable Trust

Thursday, March 22, 2018

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Church Center for the United Nations 10th floor

(CCUN) 777 United Nations Plaza, East 44th St, First Ave, New York, NY 10017

All re welcome, RSVP call 1-808-635-7127 or 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2 students passed JLPT N3, and one student passed N5

The students who took the JLPT test on December 2016 received their results at the end of January 2017.

Chanesh and Niraj passed N3 level, and Vikash passed N5 level!

Chanesh and Niraj came to see me early in the morning when the results were declared.

I was wondering why they were smiling.

I asked them "Maybe the result of JLPT would be declared till 10 am today, so would you like to check it?"

Then, "We've got the result!  It was 10 am in Japanese time when the result was declared. Thank you, madam!" they said and touched my feet as an expression of traditional Indian gratitude.

Other students couldn't pass the test.

One of them, Rahul couldn't pass the test due to lack of only one point, even though it was the first time for him.

Everyone has started studying for the test in July.

I'll try my best so that more students can pass the test next time.

Now, we are going to challenge for N2 level!

Please pray for our success!


My children took the JLPT test in December, and all of them passed.

Elder son passed N2 level, Elder daughter passed N4 level, second son passed N5.

They study in English and Hindi in India, and they study Japanese by themselves.

Especially, elder son wants to study in a university in Japan, so he is going to take N1 next time.

Of course, he is going to take the special exam as a student who had their education oversea.

He has to write essays in Japanese in the exam.

I'm always so busy for teaching Japanese language to my students and don't have much time to teach my own children, but I'll try to teach them too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

32 hours by train to Delhi! Road to JLPT (Japanese language test)

<2nd Dec. 2016>

Around noon on 2nd Dec., students of Japanese language class departed to Delhi from Gaya to take the exam of JLPT(Japanese language test).

There were 2 students for N3 level, 2 for N4 level and 6 for N5 level.

2 teachers were also with them to take the exam.

The train in which the students and teachers sat departed around 2 pm from Gaya and reached New Delhi in early morning on the next day.

This time, three of my children also decided to take the JLPT exam.

They are Japanese, so they don't have to take it but they wanted to measure their own abilities on Japanese fluency.

My elder son took the exam for N2 level, elder daughter took for N4, and second son took N5.

My children and I departed from Gaya by another train around 10:30pm on 2nd Dec.

It is winter in north India from December to January.

Trains tend to be late because of heavy white fog in that season.

Our train was expected to arrive around 10am in the morning on the next day, but it arrived at around 7pm.

<3rd Dec.>

It is usual for trains to be late in winter, so there are some extra food stocks in the trains.

The extra menu which are provided when a train is late are very simple, like rice, beans soup and pickles. 

The simple food was tasty this time, maybe because the cook was good skilled.

It was 9 hours late, so we had been sitting for about 23 hours on the train.

After reaching New Delhi station, we rode Metro(subway) to our home.

I usually take taxi from New Delhi station because I always bring a lot of luggage.

But this time I rode on a train of Metro with a baby and a lot of luggage because I didn't have much money to hire a taxi.

I think some people know this news that India government suddenly banned old 500 and 1000 Rs. notes, so people rushed to bank to exchange them into new notes but there had been less new notes in banks.

The students and teachers would have stayed at a hotel near New Delhi station in our plan, but since we didn't have any money, so I decided to let all of them stay at my house!

My children and I arrived home at around 9 pm.

The train the students rode hadn't arrived at Delhi yet.

They finally arrived at New Delhi station around 11 pm.

The expected time of riding the train was 16 hours, but it was more than 32 hours ride.

They caught the last train of Metro and reached my home.

They ate plenty of chicken curry which my sister in law prepared for them.

We spread mattresses and blankets on the floor of the living room and they squeezed to sleep all together. 

<4th Dec.>

They had to reach the venue for the JLPT exam before 8 am next morning, so they woke up around 5 am to get ready.

They slept for only 4 hours.

They took Metro to the venue.

the exam took place in some schools, which were separated by the levels.

The JLPT exam started at 9 am and ended at 12 noon.

After that, they went for shopping and directly reached New Delhi station around 7 pm. 

The train for Gaya should have departed around 10 pm at the night, but because of the foggy weather the train was late and it departed at 6 am in the next morning.

They had slept on the platform whole night while waiting for the train.

<5th Dec.>

My children and I couldn't get tickets for the train, so we flew from New Delhi to Patna (took about one and half hour) instead, and rode a car to Bodhgaya from Patna.

The road was jammed by trucks, and it took 6 hours to get to Bodhgaya, though it usually takes 3 hours. We arrived at Bodhgaya in the midnight.

<6th Dec.>

The students and the teachers arrived at Gaya station at 5 am in the morning.

It took over 23 hours for them to return.

Well, the results of the exam will be out after 3 months.

I wish they will get rewards for their efforts...!

Studying hard in 40 degree Celsius in Bodhgaya

Surya bharti in April 2017

The average of daily highest temperature in April is around 40 degree Celsius.

The students of Surya Bharti School study hard here in Bodhgaya in such temperature.

We take Summer time schedule for our school in this hot season.

School starts at about 6:30am and ends at about 12 noon.

Lunch time is around 10:30 to 11:00.

There is no AC in the class rooms.

There are fan on the ceiling in each class room but sometimes they stop working because of power failure.

You can say the hotness in this season is like "you have been boiled" or "you have been grilled in an oven".

While holding camera to take photos of the students who are studying concentrated in this hotness, I cheer them on.

When it  is over 45 degree Celsius, District Magistrate gives an order to close the classes and gives children summer vacation.

Classes would continue until the order is given.







Wednesday, January 18, 2017

34th Kalachakra prayer by Dalai Lama 14th at Bodhgaya (2nd to 14th Jan.2017)

Kalachakra prayer was held by the 14th Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya from 2nd to 14th January 2017.

It was the 34th Kalachakra prayer by him.

It was held in January 1974, December 1985, January 2003, January 2012, and this January 2017 at Bodhgaya.

Every winter, many Tibetan refugees come to Bodhgaya for pilgrimage, and especially when Dalai Lama holds prayers.

You won't be able to believe that it is India when you look at the people because majority of people during kalachakra are Tibetans.

Dalai Lama's followers also come from all over the world like America, European countries etc. 

American actor Richard Gere comes every time, and he attended it, this time too.

Bihar state government banned entering of vehicles into the center of Bodhgaya from morning to 11 pm, and has been providing tents and facilities for  a few ten thousand Tibetans in order to make them stay in Bodhgaya comfortably without any problem.

It has affected a lot of local business especially hotel and guest house owners.

One of my friend who runs a guest house in the middle of Bodhgaya said that his guesthouse (20 rooms) had only one guest in that season.

Not only these hotels and guesthouses, many new hotels and guesthouses that were rushed to be built before welcoming this Kalachakra prayer have also been disappointed with empty rooms. 

Besides the service of providing tents and facilities to Tibetan refugees, severe limitation of exchange of foreign currency into rupees and fixed withdrawing amount caused by the demonetisation executed by Indian government has also affected local businesses since November last year.

These factors have led to the cancellation of more than half of the bookings by foreign travelers who had planned to come to Bodhgaya for the Kalachakra prayer before last November.

This Kalachakra ceremony was supposed to be held in January 2016, but it was postponed due to some reasons.

Local people thought that this ceremony would be a great business opportunity but they were shocked to see the reality of empty rooms in local guest houses. 

Our Mahamaya group has a hotel near Mahabodhi temple and Kalachakra maidan, and also it is located adjacent to HH Dalai Lama's Tibetan temple next to Srilanka temple, So we have many guests as usual. 

We opened an open restaurant in Mahamaya Palace hotel which is near Sujata Kuti in December, and opened a fast food shop in Mahamaya hotel in front of Mahambodhi temple on 3rd January.

Our fast food shop has become very popular for providing Momos (Tibetan dim sum) in main menu.

I personally think that it is very great of India and Bihar state to provide best service and hospitality to Tibetan refugees as international VIP guests in the point of view of international relations.

But...local people feel that India and Bihar should think about local people's life a little more...

About Kalachakra

The Kalachakra (Sanskrit कालचक्र Kālacakra, Tibetan: དུས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོ།, Wylie: dus kyi 'khor lo; Mongolian: Цогт Цагийн Хүрдэн Tsogt Tsagiin Hurden; Chinese: 時輪) is a term used in Vajrayana Buddhism that means wheel of time or "time-cycles".

"Kālacakra" is usually used to refer to a very complex teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism. Although the teaching is very advanced and esoteric, there is a tradition of offering it to large public audiences.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Japanese taught students at Surya Bharti school (No.2) - Angel Aid Study Tour

On 13th August, people who participated in the study tour of Angel Aid Association taught our students again.

Students learnt how to wrap in Japanese way, the historical relation between India and Japan, designing hand fan, fun games, and a teacher who teaches 6th grade in Japan had a class in 6th grade in our school.

She showed Japanese letters written by Indian ink on a Japanese paper, and she asked students "Is there anybody who can read this?"

Then, one of the students replied "shi ta i no!"

(It means "I want to do".)

It was very close!!!

The correct answer was "ta no shi i".

(It means "It is fun".)

In Japanese way, especially writing with ink , we read vertically and start reading from the right hand of the upper side.

The student had read it horizontally and had started reading from the left hand of the upper side. 

She taught students about the importance of efforts to achieve their dreams with a song "Moshi Moshi Kameyo", from a story of race by a rabbit and a turtle.

She also taught making flowers by folding colorful papers called Origami in Japanese, and made students to write their dream on the flowers, so that they can see their dreams always by hanging them on the wall of their house.

In the class of historical relation between India and Japan, the teacher (who teaches History in Japan) was surprised that 8th grade students have known the history very much than 10th grade students who took the same class last time by him.

About the history of world second war, a student answered "He was the man who joined Subhash Chandra Bose in fighting against England!" when he saw a photo of Hideki Tojo.

He said that he recognized his face because he saw his face on a book of history before. 

People in India respect Subhash Chandra Bose very much who was a leader of Indian National Army.

He is evaluated as high as Mahatma Gandhi or more for his contribution to India's independence.

Most Indians gratitude to Japan that Japan helped INA to fight against British army to get freedom from colonization.  

I have some friends who come from Imphal in Manipur where the battle held between British army and Japanese army with INA.

And they told me that they respect Japanese army very much still now.

The teacher of history asked "Where can you find the model of this building near here?" while showing a photo of "Goju no tou"(Buddhist stupa) in Nara.

Then, most students answered "It's Thai temple!".

Maybe it looks like Thai temple because of the design of its roof.

In fact, he revealed that the model of "Goju no tou" was Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.

The teacher said that there were many monks who wanted to visit Bodhgaya where Buddha attained great enlightenment in ancient time but they couldn't do, so they built the temples in their countries by making them in similar design with their earnest wish for the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya which was located very far away from where they lived in the world.

Buddhism was conveyed to many countries from India and the design of the temples has been transformed into the local design in each country.

I learnt many things from this class while I was interpreting. 

Ms.T and Ms.M  were interviewed by a reporter from ANI. 

You can understand how the students enjoyed each class with Japanese when you see the photos!

I thank all members of Angel Aid study tour very much for having the classes to our students!