All are students at a newly-established unit on the campus of the local Bodhi Tree School. On the very day that the unit opened, they came with their mothers and teachers to receive the Karmapa’s blessings. Regular students from Class IX at the school accompanied them. Most of the children, who come from the villages around Bodhgaya, are Dalits from very deprived backgrounds
His Holiness smiled at the children, welcomed everyone and gave a short talk.
“Your human life is very important,” he began. ” I offer prayers that all of you may have great happiness in this life.”
He went on to say that all human beings faced difficulties and hardships in life, but that these children would have particular challenges. However, as Bodhgaya was the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment, he hoped that they too would be able to pass on the lamp of wisdom in their own way.
“I pray that you will be able to live your lives with the power of wisdom,” he concluded.
Two little girls wearing silver-coloured, plastic diadems came forward carrying a celebration chocolate cake which His Holiness cut, to be shared out later.
His Holiness then began the distribution of Indian sweets to all the children. He also presented a kata to one of the teachers at the school, a young woman from the Dalit community, who, in spite of being severely disabled by polio as a child , had successfully overcome her difficulties.