Board members and residents visit Vrindaville, a new development of 1-4 acre land plots that devotees can purchase for building homes.
The semi-annual joint board meetings with ECO-Vrindaban, ISKCON New Vrindaban, and the Village Council took place on October 21-23rd. Members met in multiple sessions to discuss the achievements of 2022 and speak about initial plans for 2023. “The combined board meeting this year was a very positive experience. New Vrindaban is unique in that it’s managed by three distinct boards with unique functions,” said Anuttama das, GBC and board member at ISKCON New Vrindaban. “As the years go by these boards, and their members, are learning to better understand each other’s needs and priorities and build on each other’s strengths.”
These bi-annual joint-board meetings are also an opportunity for residents to meet, ask questions, and express concerns. Following a meeting of board members from the different institutions, board members joined New Vrindaban residents for kirtan and prasadam in Govinda’s restaurant, where they could converse casually.
Janaki devi dasi facilitated the Saturday morning session on the topic of glorifying, praying for, and serving devotees. She presented quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books and led the participants in practical exercises. “I appreciated the wonderful spiritual element it brought to the meeting and hope that everyone makes it part of their regular daily sadhana,” commented Gopisa das, board member of ISKCON New Vrindaban.
In a special session on Saturday afternoon, each board presented reports highlighting completed or ongoing projects, challenges, and plans for the future. The Village Association also facilitated a Zoom call with Jaya Nitai das of London from international Devotee Care, and New Vrindaban devotee care staff fielded questions about expanding resources available to the community. The presentations concluded with a question and answer period between residents, board members, the NV Village Association, and devotee care staff.
On Sunday, interested residents joined the joint board members on a tour of ongoing projects at New Vrindaban and Eco-Vrindaban. These included the Eco-Vrindaban high tunnels and the newly erected greenhouse, the site of 10 one-bedroom apartments under construction, the Village Center currently under renovation, the Radha Gopinath Temple, the space for five new cabins will be erected around the water tank road as well as the space for eight tiny house sites, and the subdivisions of Bahulaban Village and Vrindaville. “To see the projects in progress excited every participant. The new housing opportunities include the possibility of buying land in two different subdivisions opening a wide range of choices for all devotees to choose” said Jaya Krsna das, Temple President.
While New Vrindaban and Eco-Vrindaban have faced challenges with finding adequate staff, providing more housing options for devotees, and rising fuel and food prices – the future looks bright for the community to continue to grow and expand Prabhupada’s vision for ISKCON’s first farm community.
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