Board index Experiences, Reviews, Q/A, Discussion Suggestions: What should the BKs be doing? What are BKs really doing for the women of India?

What are BKs really doing for the women of India?



Posts: 869
Link with BKs: -
"you people" ? Which people are you thinking of?

Dear Veda, I have no quarrel with BKs acting with integrity in their own perceived mission to give to others what they believe to be a true revelation.

I am saying that as their material income is greater than their material costs, and it has reached a point where there is excess material assets, they can be put to material use. Sure, run workshops or classes about the "pure life" and give people tools to overcome bad habits that may contribute to their problems, but why not also use some resources to enable them to practically make a change, to educate, to take care of health or buy seed etc - all things that entrap one.

Surely the BKs can, as the saying goes, walk and chew gum at the same time?

I disagree with you that NGO's generally create dependency for their own benefit. That is actually a huge slander and insult to many hard working volunteers, underpaid employees, donors and activists whose work contributes to social stability. A search on the web will reveal which charities are efficient, which not. I wonder how the BKs would compare? http://nonprofit.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi= ... gator.org/

There are some inefficiencies and corruption. That happens, so systemic checks and balances are there to minimise them. Criminal justice systems are there to prosecute them. But most such organisations need to present transparent accounts to their boards. Where are the detailed and transparent finances of the PBKIVV ? Do they have systems in place to deal with any corruption and inefficiency? When an organisation has crores of rupees flowing through, you can be sure waste and corruption occur unless it is "checked" in some way.

The BKs are no different to other large organisations - when bad things happen, and they do, they seek to maintain their public reputation often at the expense of justice or victims' welfare. Human beings are what they are, and civil society has developed to minimise the worst of these probabilities.

The BK pretend it is beneath them to be compared to other human activities. When crimes occurred in the recent past, they have to be dragged kicking and screaming against their wishes to face the reality that their own "yogis" were capable of such things. You (personally and the BKs generally) look down your noses at civil society for its inadequacies, preferring to abuse notions of karma and im/purity rather than do anything or work to improve it in the here and now. Your indignation is not righteous, it is self-righteous. Indirect answers only indicating....?

I'd rather live in a community where people debate how to improve things, which means acknowledging inadequacies, where the news tells me about people in authority being prosecuted for crimes than in one where such things aren't reported. In the former it tells me the system is working, cheats are brought to justice (no matter how imperfectly) . You can be sure in the latter, where you don't hear of such things, there is abuse of power but you are kept in the dark or lied to.

You ask what have I done? I can tell you this as i have this pseudonym, otherwise i do not brag about such things. For over 10 years I have sponsored a child in Mozambique- a country largely ignored by the international community that emerged from colonial rule, went through civil war, was hit by droughts then floods . A sponsored child is a face but the actual donations help all the community, not just the child. Other sponsors and I have helped educate her and others in her village, a school was built, farming tools were bought, seed was bought, water supply was improved. She is in High school now. She is strong and healthy as are her village friends, and she aims to become a school teacher.

I have donated to cancer research - and there's been much progress in the last few years. I have donated to Salvation Army who feed and house anyone, the destitute, the mentally ill, even middle class families hit by sudden unemployment, they run addiction and other counselling services, suicide support etc. I subscribe (donate regularly) to Amnesty International who support political and other prisoners of conscience. They criticise large western democracies as readily as third world dictatorships when the need arises. They have had many successes, of which you can read if you are interested.

Many times i have continued that support by borrowing, figuring that if the choice is between saving a life, alleviating injustice whilst incurring extra debt, or ignoring all that to improve my bank balance, I choose the former. What better use is there for a line of credit than to save lives, uplift the needy, put pressure on oppressive regimes?

I want such people to have the luxury of wondering whether to join the BKs or form a political party or take a holiday etc rather than worrying if they'll make it through the next week.

I live simply, and I help others to simply live. I join petitions that have succeeded on many fronts. I live in a democracy but do not take it for granted. I write to MPs to bring to their awareness small or big things that are happening so that they in their capacity can act for the greater good.

People come to me for my professional services and I am generous to those who show generosity of spirit despite lack of resources, but I will hit for every penny any well-resourced client who begrudges paying me my due or is ungrateful for work done gratis (and itemised) and even expects more discount (when they can see i am not rolling in it).

I have recently spent time arguing with others on philosophy forums about Islam , supposedly intelligent people who do not see the prejudices and racism that is infecting their thought. I joined an anti-climate change forum to argue the facts with them, with some effect. No point only talking to people who agree with you.

I write on this forum not to annoy you but to wake people up to what matters in life.
You people? Really?


Posts: 2524
Link with BKs: BK
Now, I am sure you can work at your job while being civil to your colleagues, occasionally helping them. You do not say - i am paid to do my job, not to help you.

Very sorry to you once again. I do not say like that. i say- it is drama and shivbaba who pays me.

And i give same respect to my Boss as well as the last subordinate.


BBaba even during beggary period - did not think to earn. He just left everything to God.

So- as a trustee only we should move and nothing else. even in the office, i should not be ego of my job.

If the BKs used more of their resources to practically help people it does not mean they have to stop sending good wishes in yoga or doing their other "service".

Does offering scholarships to the children of the poor prevent any BK giving the course or remembering baba? Does funding the kitchens of women's refuges get in the way of buying all the airline tickets needed by BK seniors? They have more than enough ability to do both.


I am not saying that we should not do. It is not in our agenda now. in case, if it comes one day- when Baba gives srimath or the seniors feel about it, then BKs will do even that. and I think- it will happen. There are also murli points which say- in future, you will have to serve bheelnis (mostly similar to slum people)

'treat others as you'd like to be treated. "


I have explained this fully in that topic. Still you could not catch it.

If you really like to treat others like you, then would you like to treat a beggar as one of yourself and give shelter at home and treat him as your family member?

Moving further- you should not then accept more than average golbal income. If our earnings are more than per capita income of the world, will you donate the extra money of your income?

Further- there are blind people in this world. Would you like to donate one of your eyes to such a person? [and even kidney to some other] then only it proves that you are treating them as you treat yourself, right?

Would you like to mention how much of your time, money and energy you spend for any charity purpose?

But , i am sure that since your are a complete soul, you would have done all these perfectly.

so- you are really great soul to have such wonderful things both in thoughts and actions.
Murli Pt:- Gambheerataa se full marks jamaa hota hai. Mamma toh gambheerataa kee devi thi. = The virtue seriousness gives full marks. Mamma was a deity of seriousness.


Posts: 2524
Link with BKs: BK
Murli Pt:- Gambheerataa se full marks jamaa hota hai. Mamma toh gambheerataa kee devi thi. = The virtue seriousness gives full marks. Mamma was a deity of seriousness.


Posts: 869
Link with BKs: -
Would you like to mention how much of your time, money and energy you spend for any charity purpose?


Dear mbbhat - I was replying to BK Veda above and I did answer that in my previous post.

Your measure - to donate earning higher than average global income - is not a bad idea, only needing adjustment in the practical application because the cost of living varies in different places.

If we were able to set a standard of housing, clothing, feeding, health & education then see what it costs to maintain that in each place, i think we could then set a figure for each place and put it out into the public sphere to encourage donation. Honestly paying taxes is one form of that, and pressuring government to use taxes for foreign aid or social services is another.

In fact, various UN and government agencies do that, and each nation has it's "poverty line". A quick check online of government statistics shows that my income hovers around the poverty line for where I live. But if you re-read my previous post, you'll see i do not consider myself unable to help in what little way i can.


Posts: 42
Location: Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India
Link with BKs: BK
I appreciate your spirit and commitment to improve people around you. But In Brahma Kumaris one is expected to improve and elevate them self to become as good as deity to create heavenly atmosphere around them in their family and thus help society by being examples. So our ability to focus on purely material services is limited as compared to certain others.

your whole notion of excess assets/income at BK organization is flawed. there may be certain small imbalances in income and expenditure which is normal part of any large organisation, but the fact that even today shantivan complex which is designed to cater on 15,000 has to cater to ever increasing inflow of over 30,000 during BapDada milan programs because of lack of enough funds and resources to create new complexes.

If BK's had such large amount cash in reserve then, dont you think they will create better facilities? Also all the accounts in BK is audited and proper returns are filed to the govt authorities every year. According to Indian IT rules any NGO needs to audit their income and any income not spent within a period of one to two years would have to taxed like any corporate income. IT dept will never allow any such large organisation to exist if its transactions are not audited and returns are filed. you can always file an RTI to verify the facts. what more transparency do you require? All the relevant documents are presented to right people at right time.

In case you are not aware of, BK's are doing social services in various fields in their own way. GHRC is one such venture in health care. Coronary artery disease program for heart patients is one of the best in the world offered here without charge to all patients who deserve it. Thousands of farmers are trained in organic farming and yogic kheti to improve agriculture and make it more profitable. Millions are people were benefited by tobacco & drug de-addiction programs conducted regularly by BK centres all over India. I have been part of these programs since i have been a BK. Medical wing of brahma kumaris is regularly involved in providing healthcare and material support to disaster affected people all over India providing relief to flood, cyclone and earth quake victims not only in India but in certain countries world over where they are able to reachout. Rural wing has adopted various backward villages and is actively involved in social development in their areas with local administration and governing bodies.

Our past record speaks for itself about our contribution to society materially as well as spiritually. You notion again the BKs feel superior and beneath them to compare their services to others is flawed and irrelevant. Because every organization has its own purpose and agenda of its existence. Taking up any activity which is not the focus of that organization would be foolish if we cant justify it administratively and impact on our core purpose. Just because you think that certain people should do this does not give you right to criticise others for not following your whims and fancies.


Posts: 869
Link with BKs: -
I only have time for a brief answer (Thank drama i hear you say).

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring up the various "wings" of the BKWSU that do social work, like the hospital, the farming and the disaster relief. And I agree that these things are not the 'core" activities of the BKWSU. I only ever said they should do both, not give over one for the other, and these are good examples to mention.

Let me put this to you. With these initiatives, the ones i know something of, they came out of particular individuals, not the organisation itself. They find the main decision makers (finance controllers) uncooperative, needing a lot of convincing. Existing yugya funds are not utilised, new fundraising intitiatives need to be found (even when there are large reserves sitting there). Often it's out of the pocket of those individuals and whomever they can enthuse to donate (often outside the yugya).

Once it is proven successful and that the yugya gains good public relations (reputation) then it is seen as worthwhile and the yugya will invest in it.

With the disaster relief, from what i have read, I question the qualifications of many of those that go to 'counsel' victims. And with that I question the motives. Surface motives may be good, we all like to help our fellows, but if we are sincere, we'd take the time to get fully trained and qualified in this specialised area (including full paramedic and first aid skills, grief counselling, information at hand about various support agencies and next steps available), rather than believing that "gyan" "remembering god and drama" are enough.

All that said, good on the individual BKs for trying to do more in the social contexts. However, I believe the organisation's collective culture, values & history prevents it from doing these activities anywhere near as effectively and efficiently as they could.

I think the main point of the opening post (to come back closer to topic) is that, if the upliftment of women in India is a stated objective of the BKWSU, it needs to reexamine how that is best done - for the real benefit to the maximum number, and that the resources of a large organisation like the BKs need to be better marshalled and targeted to achieve that objective.

Middle class daughters who find refuge under "baba's canopy" and bring their inheritance or dowry, or whose parents can't find them a husband and give their dowry as security for the BKs to take them in (to prevent dumping) is all well and good. Each feels their personal needs are the most important.

The poor, the unemployed, the uneducated, the homeless, the abused, the exploited women & girls who are trapped in their situations may be able to use "spiritual knowledge" to better tolerate their circumstances, but changing those circumstances would serve them better. The measure of selfless service is giving help unconditionally and without any expectation of anything (acknowledgement, thanks, attendance, conversion, a good word, donation, anything) in return.

One last response to your well-argued reply BKVeda - just how open, detailed and transparent are the finances and reports of the BKWSU?. Are they available to the public on the internet like most charities? Fully itemised? Independently audited? Detailed and presented in a way that a board (decision makers)/"shareholders"(donors) can analyse, and see where efficiencies and activities can be improved etc (elucidation being is the real purpose of such reports)? If so, please supply a link, i'd be interested to have a look. Or are they skeletal documents with rubbery figures, just enough to satisfy government requirements (i.e. purposely obscure)?

See here for one example of 132 page report (see pg16-17) where donations are itemised, money, goods, services,paid staff, unpaid staff, etc - strategies and goals clearly stated. Another example here.


Posts: 42
Location: Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India
Link with BKs: BK
Once it is proven successful and that the yugya gains good public relations (reputation) then it is seen as worthwhile and the yugya will invest in it.


Yagya does not invest in any projects related to social work for your kind information. All the contributions for various different projects are funded by those who are interested in those services. Many core projects in Yagya are funded similarly. Only general and common facilities are funded by yagya. Very few specific projects directly related to infrastructure and spiritual services are funded by yagya. Major expenditure of any such large organisation goes in day to day running of infrastructure facilities. All the wings are funded by their wing members and not yagya. yagya supports the idea of wings and their services, Yagya provides man power of BK's who are interested in those services.

we'd take the time to get fully trained and qualified in this specialised area (including full paramedic and first aid skills, grief counselling, information at hand about various support agencies and next steps available), rather than believing that "gyan" "remembering god and drama" are enough.


Medical wing provides services od disaster relief. Members of medical wing are trained doctors and nurses. Your doubts about their professional qualifications are unfounded.

However, I believe the organisation's collective culture, values & history prevents it from doing these activities anywhere near as effectively and efficiently as they could.


Already clarified that brahma kumaris is not social service organisation. It is a spiritual educational NGO. Hence your statement and feelings are true but irrelevant to the organisation purpose and intentions.

The poor, the unemployed, the uneducated, the homeless, the abused, the exploited women & girls who are trapped in their situations may be able to use "spiritual knowledge" to better tolerate their circumstances, but changing those circumstances would serve them better. The measure of selfless service is giving help unconditionally and without any expectation of anything (acknowledgement, thanks, attendance, conversion, a good word, donation, anything) in return.


Again this is not social service organisation, but a non-profit spiritual educational institution. What ever women empowerment services offered are part of educational services. You cannot go to a college and ask them to support poor financially and otherwise. All an educational institution or college can offer at the most would be free education for poor and scholarship for those who are eligible. This is what our organisation does. It give free rajyoga courses to all the people who are interested in making their life better.

One last response to your well-argued reply BKVeda - just how open, detailed and transparent are the finances and reports of the BKWSU?. Are they available to the public on the internet like most charities? Fully itemised? Independently audited? Detailed and presented in a way that a board (decision makers)/"shareholders"(donors) can analyse, and see where efficiencies and activities can be improved etc (elucidation being is the real purpose of such reports)? If so, please supply a link, i'd be interested to have a look. Or are they skeletal documents with rubbery figures, just enough to satisfy government requirements (i.e. purposely obscure)?


There is a difference between the organisations you mention and Brahma Kumaris. All the organisations you mention are social service organisations that take donations from public hence accountable to public. Brahma Kumaris does not accept donations from Public and hence is not answerable to public. There are no shareholders for this organisation in public whose finances are affected by the decisions of this organisations hence it is not liable to such share holders.

All finances generated by Brahma Kumaris are voluntary contributions of its family members and students who believe in its purpose and functioning model. If they have any doubts about the way their money is being spent they are free not to contribute at all. If Brahma Kumaris did not function transparently enough for these family members then they would never contribute. Since the people contributing are satisfied with spending why should you worry?

Income tax dept of Govt of India is satisfied by the auditing done at the organisation. If they think there is anything illegal going on here they would immediately take action. If auditing practices are not upto the standard do you think IT dept would accept it?

Brahma Kumaris does not believe in ISO certification for itself as of now, if and when such a requirement appears, organisation may publish such details will be put in public domain. As of now, such results are available only to relevant people. others who wish to know more may file an RTI at Income tax dept.


Posts: 869
Link with BKs: -
An excellent reply thank you Veda. i do not have the time to reply to a number of the points I'd like to.

Except about your central rationale...
All finances generated by Brahma Kumaris are voluntary contributions of its family members and students who believe in its purpose and functioning model. If they have any doubts about the way their money is being spent they are free not to contribute at all. If Brahma Kumaris did not function transparently enough for these family members then they would never contribute. Since the people contributing are satisfied with spending why should you worry?


...misunderstands the whole purpose of transparency. It exists not for when things go right but for when things might go wrong.

Any organisation can say "trust us" and have its donors' full faith and not question anything. Even if an organisation is fully ethical and efficient and accurate, then full and detailed transparency affects nothing, gives reassurance and offers opportunity for cross-checking.

The pertinent questions on this matter really is:
"Why not transparency?". (Does an organisation have anything to hide?)
Does it respect its members as more than mushrooms? (best if kept in the dark, 'fertilised', eaten when ready).


Posts: 2524
Link with BKs: BK
Service through thoughts have higher value than words, money, etc. since thought energy cannot be measured by figures and facts, then there is no point in projecting the lower level services.


What is given by right hand, should not be known to left hand. This is the best policy.

And- we need to forget all the physical things, give them importance only to the needed extent. Hence, putting these details is also against spirituality. [except if anyone uses the receipt to get income tax benefit, etc]

Why do work which has no productivity? In a family, when there is full belief, what is the use of these details? If one thinks it is a need, then it is against faith and relation.

The service through body (physical), speech/words and thoughts are much higher level than money service. So- if to keep transparency and give respect to members, they should be first disclosed. Is that possible? [Then a person should calculate- such and such person did phyiscal service for half an hour, etc and keep account of all these. ]*

And- one rupee of a poor person is equal to one thousand rupees of a rich person. so- what purpose is solved there by just disclosing the money account things?

* - That is why baba says- you keep chart of yoga, service by speech, words, etc and also you can give details of your earnings, how you spend , everything to Baba, and you may get directions from Baba if you wish. [Ok, this is in sakar murli. i am not saying, today also is it is necessary. but, if one feels , he can send his detailed chart to Madhuban and get directions from nimitt souls]
Murli Pt:- Gambheerataa se full marks jamaa hota hai. Mamma toh gambheerataa kee devi thi. = The virtue seriousness gives full marks. Mamma was a deity of seriousness.


Posts: 42
Location: Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India
Link with BKs: BK
Any organisation can say "trust us" and have its donors' full faith and not question anything. Even if an organisation is fully ethical and efficient and accurate, then full and detailed transparency affects nothing, gives reassurance and offers opportunity for cross-checking.


Many people waste time crosschecking others rather than themselves. Brahma Kumaris teach how to check self, each person strives to be transparent inside out.

then why not financial disclosure? is ur question. ok do you publish your financial details on website? why not be transparent about your bank accounts? financial details of any individual and family are a private matter, and it becomes invasion of privacy when such details are put up for public cross checking. Brahma Kumaris organisation because of its large size appears like an organisation, but internally its a family. members do not work here for getting a pay. all BK members who work full time for the organization work for the family, they do not work for public or any corporation. So BK's consider it their right to privacy. it will be family members right to ask any question to elders but it is elders prerogative weather and how much information to disclose depending on the needs of family and the spiritual stage of the individual. One of the first rules of eligibility for becoming a BK is to become a complete family member voluntarily. Those issues that you have raised about financial transparency do not apply here.

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