TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS EDUCATION BY KUSHOK BAKULA :
In 1959 The Venerable Kushok Bakula founded the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, Ladakh. Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Memorial Education campaign week is observed in November every year across length and breadth of Leh Ladakh as an endeavor to strengthen the rural government schools. This annual feature was started after passing away of Bakula Rinpochey in November 2003.His Holiness Kushok Bakula Rinpoche was a renowned spiritual and political leader of Ladakh in the latter half of the 20th Century – the post independence era – Rinpoche joined politics in 1949 when Ladakh had just entered a new era of a democratic society. Therefore he is often regarded as the architect of modern Ladakh. One of the great contributions by Kushok Bakula Rinpoche was spreading the light of modern education to Ladakhi society.
He played a vital role in motivating Ladakhi people to send their children to schools. All through his political life Bakula always stressed on the importance of modern education while preserving ancestral knowledge, values and wisdom.“Although Rinpoche did not receive a modern education, he understood the importance of scientific education, and he made gigantic efforts to spread education in Ladakh. He convinced illiterate parents, Buddhist and Muslim alike, to send their children to school and, he opened one in every village in Ladakh. He also provided opportunities for hundreds of poor Ladakhi children to go outside Ladakh for higher studies.” These words by Sonam Wangchuk Shakspo, Rinpoche’s private secretary, in the book ‘Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Saint and Statesman’ sums up the great contributions made by Rinpoche in spreading the light of education among the people of Ladakh at a stage when education through modern schooling system was something new to Ladakhi society and accordingly most people were found reluctant to enroll their children to schools for modern education. Besides these efforts he was also the man behind opening of public institutes like the Vishesh Kendriya Vidyalaya in Delhi and the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh.
To pay tribute to Bakula Rinpoche’s great contribution to Ladakhi society, particularly in the of education, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh in collaboration with the civil society organizations of Leh decided to observe an education campaign week in every November in the name of Padma Bhushan Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, making it an institutionalized annual feature.
Educational ideologues are drawn from the Ladakh Autonomous Hill
Development Council (LAHDC), the Cultural Academy and non-governmentalorganisations (NGOs) - primarily the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL).The Educational Rights of Minorities maintains that ‘despite the diversity of religions and languages, there runs through the fabric of the nation the golden thread of basic unity’ .