BKWSU's relationship with/effect on Mount Abu & citizens

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alladin
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BKWSU's relationship with/effect on Mount Abu & citizens

Post by alladin » 26 Dec 2007

ex-l wrote:the BKWSU's relationship with the citizens of Mount Abu. That would make a good thread.
Yes, I really think so, but I don't know how to start a thread; Will some one do it in my place, please? Before posting any comment on it, I would simply ask some question like the one ex-l suggested and also some query about the impact of the - now huge - BK ashram and estates in M. Abu and Abu Rd.

Have BK activities, settlements and investment improved the quality of life of locals, or is it the other way around? It'd be nice to go to those places as a reporter, make some interviews and find out what the natives think. With a superficial look, one can see that the BKs employ lots of people as servants, cleaners, masons, etc ... but for sure there are many negative aspects involved, such as the dramatic increase of value in properties, possibly a raise in prices of food and rent ...

Worth mentioning one thing, Westerners always complain about; noise and exhaust fumes (waste??) and any pollution of environment related effects. You name it ... :cry:.

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primal.logic
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Post by primal.logic » 02 Jan 2008

The effect on the locals has been dramatic. Keeping in mind that Mt Abu is a major tourist destination for Indians, Gujeratis in particular. It has always been a popular spot. But there has been a big demand on land by the BKs for Pandav Bhavan, Gyan Sarovar and random buildings. This pushing up land prices. Then many BKs from India and outside India have bought land there in preparation for Destruction, as well as just wanting to be near Pandav Bhavan. Then there are all the staff at the hospital that need residences etc etc. Then there is pressure on land from the tourist industry.

Then you get the local council that wants to preserve Mt Abu as the quaint village it can no longer be due to resident population pressures. The council will not give planning permission to the locals to develop their own properties and this is where the angst is coming from. Mum, dad and the kids - and the grandkids - are all trapped in the tiny houses that were built decades ago. If they try to expand the house the council is severe and just destroys it. So families who have lived in Mt Abu since whenever, can no longer fit into their houses and cannot afford to buy land anywhere else.

But the BKs are okay - they have plenty of money. And the hotel owners are okay.

The BKs did bring a lot of business to Mt Abu, but that did not translate into quality of life for the locals due to the other, negative pressures. But now the BKs have moved down the mountain so that they can process their new recruits more easily, the economic benefits they brought to Mt Abu may have been lost ... but not the negative economic and social impacts.

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fluffy bunny
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Post by fluffy bunny » 02 Jan 2008

Thank you for the in depth analysis, are the BKs in bed with the local government? Is there baksheesh, payola involve? We need to look into this further.

There is also a small Indian Army presence up there too, is there not? One president/prime minister at least keep a residence up there? Is it an "official" residence for all leaders or was it just personal for that individual?
primal.logic wrote:Then there are all the staff at the hospital that need residences etc etc. Then there is pressure on land from the tourist industry.
Just as a related aside, are all or most the employee BKs?

In essence, what I am asking is ...
  • are the BKs setting up charities ... to fund the Global Hospital ... to pay BKs a wage?

    Both doctors and nurses and administrators.
Does that include the BK 'patrons' and trustees etc? Looking at the 2005 accounts featured in the Janki Foundation topic it appears that employment and administration costs are approximately $ 391,399 per annum. That is a lot of money for India. Somehow, I cant imagine them paying Shudras easily.

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arjun
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Post by arjun » 02 Jan 2008

Dear primal.logic,

You have given a good account of the situation at Abu.

Prior to the setting up of Global hospital, the contact of local residents with the BKWSU headquarters was limited to attendance in a few functions organized at the Pandav Bhavan or Museum, like 21st January, Janmashtami and the cultural programmes at the Universal Peace conferences held in February/March. Apart from that they hardly knew whatever was going on inside. But after the setting up of Global hospital, the image of BKWSU has improved to some extent. The Peace Park at Mount Abu is also an attraction for the locals.
ex-l wrote:There is also a small Indian Army presence up there too, is there not? One president/prime minister at least keep a residence up there? Is it an "official" residence for all leaders or was it just personal for that individual?
Yes, both Indian Army and Indian Air Force have a base at Mt. Abu because the place is close to the border. The Gyan Sarovar Complex is close to the Army and Air Force camps while the Peace Park of BKs is on the way to Guru Shikhar where the Indian Air Force has a radar. I suppose Guru Shikhar is the highest point on the Aravalis. There is a Hindu temple also at that place.

I don't think there is any official residence of Indian Prime Minister/President at Mt. Abu. But I think there is an official rest house for the Governor of Rajasthan State where Mount Abu is located. It is at this official rest house that Late Shri Chenna Reddy, the former Governor of Rajasthan was served by BKs and it was he who helped them acquire the land for Gyan Sarovar, despite general restrictions on building activities on the Mount.

Many Princely states of Rajasthan had their Palaces at Mt. Abu as summer rest houses.

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