The Braj Foundation - the real action at the grass root
Mr. Vineet Narain is, founder and the Chairman of The Braj Foundation (www.brajfoundation.org), actively involved in the restoration of Braj-the land of Lord Shri Radha Krishna. Braj is the cultural area within the three districts of Mathura (UP), Bharatpur (Raj) and Palwal( Haryana) area. This 5000 years old cultural heritage, within the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, has been grossly neglected and partly destroyed.
After having fought corruption at the highest echelons of power and setting up some of the highest standards in journalism Mr. Narain decided to dedicate most of his time and energy in the wider restoration works in Braj, his matrabhumi. He wanted to prove that despite corruption and hurdles created by vested interests a lot can be done. Already Braj Foundation has restored 42 ancient water bodies in Braj area in a short span of 10 years, thereby enhancing the additional water retention capacity by 4 lakh cubic meters. For this unprecedented achievement, it has been given UNESCO sponsored three Best Water NGO Awards in India.
The Braj Foundation has also restored and beautified 2 sacred forests, 3 heritage sites and made Brahma Kund (Vrindavan), Koiley Ghat (Mathura),Gahavar Van (Barsana), Sewa Kunj (Vrindavan) into the most beautiful tourist destinations and the work is on at several sites. It has done detailed technical survey of over 400 ancient water bodies and 86 groves and the process is on. It has prepared a Tourism Master Plan of Braj worth Rs. 2000 crores for UP Tourism Dept. Since 85% ground water in Braj is saline, Foundation has installed door to door drinking water supply scheme in some villages of Barsana.
On the initiative of Vineet Narain, Chief Minister of Rajasthan has declared 72 square kms. of hill area of Braj falling within Rajasthan as protected forest, which was being brutally destroyed by the stone mining mafia. A policy guideline to facilitate the restoration of decadent forests of Braj, initiated by Mr. Narain has been issued by the Government of Uttar Pradesh recently. To promote Braj culture The Braj Foundation has successfully organized nine high-profiles ‘Braj Mahotsavs’ in association with various state Govts.
The Braj Foundation is working for the wider restoration and regeneration of the original heritage sites and ecology of Braj through large scale community participation. The Foundation envisions to develop Braj as a model rural society based on the traditional Indian ethos of sustainability and harmony between natural resources & human needs. Braj would therefore develop into a world class destination for all those who long for self actualization and a journey into the inner world. A dedicated team of IITans, IIM graduates and professionals from other premiere institutions of the country and abroad are giving shape to this hope filled vision of the Foundation. If you go to Project section of website you will appreciate the several interesting pictures of sites.