The Odiyana Charitable Society is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in India by Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche. The projected activities of the Odiyana Project, have three distinct and harmonious parts: Odiyana Clinic, Odiyana Children’s School and Odiyana Temple. To find out more information about these ongoing projects, visit the website: Odiyana Charitable Society.
Location and Population
The Odiyana Project is located on nearly three acres of land that was gifted to Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche, in the town of Ruksin. Ruksin lies near the banks of the Brahmaputra River and is situated on the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are the two Northeastern most states in India. The town is approximately 35 miles from Arunachal’s major city, Pasighat.
Ecologically, Ruskin is in one of the most biodiverse parts of the Indian sub-continent. The landscapes of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh support sub-tropical, temperate, and alpine forests, it is home to thousands of flower and plant species. The people of the area are just as culturally and linguistically diverse as the flora and fauna they reside amongst. Twenty indigenous languages are spoken in Assam and fifty are spoken in Arunachal Pradesh. The Odiyana Project will serve a local population that includes major ethnic groups such as Tibetan, Tamang, Sherpa, Adi and Miri among others.
Similar to other developing regions of the world, access to high quality healthcare services is of concern for many people in the region. To address this, Odiyana project will construct, supply and staff a modest but well-equipped clinic, making quality care available to the public at little or no charge. The clinic will offer traditional Tibetan Medicine, practiced by a physician in residence who will provide holistic diagnosis and treatment according to time honored tradition. Offering and honoring medicine practices that are traditional to the local people demonstrates indigenous cultural value and this is appreciated by a large portion of the local population who will benefit from such services. Additionally, modern “western” medicine will be available by skilled visiting doctors and nurses from India and abroad.
Odiyana Children’s School
Many people in the Arunachal and Assam region live in relative poverty and children do not have access to quality education. The Odiyana School has a mission to deliver educational services that provide more than standard academic skills, it also aims to significantly impact and transform the lives of children who pass through its doors. Two-thirds of the enrollment spaces will be reserved for local orphans who will receive not only a full education but boarding, food and clothing at no cost. Tuition for day students is budgeted to be adjusted based on financial needs, we are committed to putting the child first and practicing equity when providing education for our local community. We believe education should be an equalizing and democratizing force in society and we practice what we believe by maintaining equity, diversity and culture in our core value system. Quality education must be available to all, not just to the privileged few.
The educational program’s philosophy is centered in the belief that education should be deep, broad and build the whole human being in addition to imparting academic skills. We select teachers that are caring and can facilitate a rich learning environment for our students. The role of our teachers is to educate children on how to conduct themselves ethically and be beneficial to society as well as imparting knowledge in the various subject areas.
The Odiyana Children’s School will include modern classrooms for each grade, administrative offices, a kitchen and dining hall, library, children’s residence and teachers’ quarters. The educational program will offer a comprehensive K-6 contemporary curriculum in Language, Math, Science, History, Visual and Performing Arts, and Movement. A unique aspect of this modern academic program is that it will emphasize stewardship of the planet and allow opportunities for cultivation of the heart and mind through the practices of mindfulness, compassion and meditation. In addition to recruiting highly qualified, full-time teaching faculty from the local area population, Odiyana Project will also offer volunteer teaching opportunities to educators from other areas of India and abroad. Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche envisions the Odiyana School as a place for developing kind people with leadership skills who possess peace, wisdom and may benefit society for generations to come.
Odiyana Temple, Ati Jangchub Chöling
The majority of the people in this region are Buddhists or come from Buddhist family lines. Ethnically, many of the people living here are Sherpa and Tamang Buddhists from Nepal and Buddhist migrants from Myanmar. Many Tibetan people, who are mainly from Pemakod, now live here as well. Moreover, this area is a junction that can be easily reached by people living in far away towns and cities in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Ati Jangchub Choeling Temple will be the first and only temple in this region. Therefore, once it is completed, the temple will be a great center for the local community to come and engage in Buddhist practice on a daily basis and for visitors from far away to visit for special events.
Events at the temple will include monthly Guru Rinpoche Day, Dakini Day, Eighth the Medicine Buddha Day, and Full Moon Day practices. Four major Buddhist festivals will be celebrated annually and Dharma talks will be given for the general public from time to time. NyungNe, the weeklong fasting retreat with vows, will be observed annually, and on special occasion the temple will host visiting high Lamas who will give teachings, empowerments and lead group practices.
Traditionally Buddhist people request Lamas to come to their homes to perform specific ceremonies for benefiting both the living and the dead. The Lamas at the temple will conveniently fulfill these needs and wishes, providing spiritual support for the surrounding community.
Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche envisions that this temple will be a great center where people can learn and engage in Buddha Dharma teachings on wisdom and compassion for the betterment of their own lives and for a more peaceful society at large.
Of course, we cannot do it alone. We invite you to be part of the causes and conditions that bring the Odiyana Project into full manifestation. Material, logistical, and financial resources are needed. Whether you are able to donate money or in-kind support, please consider giving with an open and compassionate heart.