People of Bantoli
A conversation with Linda Pascotto, President of The Prem Rawat Foundation, about the people of Bantoli.
Bantoli area in autumn
TPRF is currently taking the first steps to develop a humanitarian initiative aimed at bringing free food to children and adults in the Bantoli area.
Where will this initiative take place?
This will take place in the area
of Bantoli, which is near the city of Ranchi,
in the state of Jharkand, a new state of 80,000
sq. km. (31,000 sq. miles) carved out of Bihar
in 2000. It is a glorious, colorful, and ancient
land, which is also the poorest and most backward
in India. It has been written that life there
is "nasty, brutish, and short." Social
and economic conditions do not measure up well
even against Indian averages. From adult literacy
to maternal mortality, this area rates at the
bottom in India.
of Bantoli working in the fields
Tell us more about the land and climate.
Jharkand means "forest region."
It is a mountainous region, 3,000 ft. high in
northeastern India, south of the Indo-Gangetic
Plain and west of the Ganges delta in Bangladesh.
The mountains are heavily forested, and some of
the plateaus have been deforested. To the north
lies the Himalayan land of Nepal, and to the west
is Uttar Pradesh. The Bantoli area is home to
4,000 inhabitants. It has a dry winter, followed
by heavy rains.