Thousands to embrace Buddhism at Deeksha Bhoomi on Oct 12

New Kerala, Oct 3, 2005

Nagpur, India -- Over 12,000 followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar from across the country and abroad are expected to throng to Deeksha Bhoomi here, where Buddhism was embraced in 1956 by lakhs of Dalits along with the social reformer, to celebrate the 49th 'Dhammachakra Parivartan Din' on October 12 this year.

Addressing a press conference here last evening, Deekasha Bhoomi Smarak Samiti Chairman and Rajya Sabha member R S Gavai said though 'Dhammachakra Parivartan Din' is celebrated every year and more than five to six lakh people assemble on the Vijaya Dashmi day (Dussehra) at Bhoomi, this year the event becomes more significant.

As Dhammachakra Pravartan Din enters its the golden jubilee year, the number of people coming for the event is expected to double, he said.

Mr Gavai said the 49th Dhammachakra Parivartan Din will start with a programme of Deeksha, in which thousands of people will embrace Buddhism under the guidance of Japan-born Indian monk Bhante Nagarjun Surai Sasai, he added.

The golden jubilee celebrations will start with staging of a play 'Mahasurya', based on the life of Dr Ambedkar on October 13. Various social and cultural programmes from village to district levels in the country will be organised through out the year as part of the celebrations, Mr Gavai said.

In view of large crowds expected at Deeksha Bhoomi, Mr Gavai said the local administration, including the Municipal Corporation and police, are geared up to provide civic facilities and security.

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachaury and Maharashtra Higher Education Minister Dilip Walse-Patil are among important dignitaries who would attend the October 12 function.