Once again, my heartfelt thanks goes out to all the devotees worldwide who contributed their might to support the construction of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in 2016. Without you this immense project would simply not be possible. Together we are all endeavoring to develop ISKCON’s World Headquarters and especially its centerpiece temple which will preach to the world the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the yuga dharma.
2016 was a challenging year for the TOVP. However, we have come through unscathed and stronger than before. Construction continues unabated, and fundraising is branching out into newer areas all the time. Significant challenges remain, including the recent currency upheaval in India. The TOVP is more than ever depending on the friends and supporters of Srila Prabhupada’s TOVP to finish this project for the glory of Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada.
Here are some highlights from 2016:
- Total income was $5 million (U.S.).
- On Thursday, April 14th, in conjunction with the auspicious appearance day of Lord Ramachandra, the new U.S. TOVP office celebrated its Grand Opening in Alachua, Florida. The celebration also coincided with the formation of the new U.S. non-profit, TOVP Foundation, Inc..
- To date over $1.7 million has been given by the BBT/BBTI to the TOVP project.
- The TOVP Fundraising Team consisting of Their Graces Jananivas, Ambarisa, Vraja Vilas and Svaha prabhus, and led by the holy Padukas (shoes) of Lord Nityananda and Satari (helmet) of Lord Nrsimhadeva, toured South Africa for ten days raising over $2 million in pledges, matching the results from the first tour there in 2014.
- Our second year fundraising event at His Holiness Gopal Krishna Maharaja’s Vyasa Puja celebration raised over $350,000 in pledges, much coming from devotees who had already pledged last year when we raised $2.4 million.
- The ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) seminar during Gaur Purnima raised $250,000 in pledges from attendees.
- External concreting of the three main Domes and eight Chatris was completed.
- The main Dome Kalashes, Chatri Kalashes and three Chakras being manufactured in Russia are almost complete with the first shipment expected to arrive in February, 2017.
- 72 GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) Dome brackets for Kalashes are in production at the GRC factory on location in Mayapur.
- Titanium Nitrate ribbons were installed on the Chatris and blue tile laying commenced.
- Chatri marble cladding, pillar placement and ornamental peacock installation commenced.
- A CNC router was purchased to create custom molding patterns for GRC molds.
- Artisan work and marble cladding on the inner staircase walls commenced.
- Rainwater piping installation on the exterior walls and underground continues.
- Metal casting of various fences and railings commenced.
- Waterproofing, electrical work and brick laying is ongoing.
Other News Highlights
- On October 17th His Grace Sri Nathji prabhu (Dr. N.D. Desai), one of the original supporters of the TOVP, passed from this world.
- His Grace Ravindra Svarupa prabhu published his remarkable new essay, Revealing the Heart of ISKCON, in which the esoteric as well as external purposes of the TOVP are explained with great insight.
- The TOVP phone App went live.
- Lightning Arrester installation began at over 40 locations atop the TOVP.
- A Vishwakarma Puja was performed on September, 17th in service to Radha Madhava to obtain blessings for the successful construction of the TOVP.
- The TOVP Mayapur office creates a Communication Team to stay in touch with devotees worldwide by phone.
- A Sudarshana /Harinama Yajna performed on May 19th brought rain and the blessings of the Lord to the TOVP project.
As many of you are aware, the demonetization of the Rupee has taken its toll on fundraising in India in general. It has greatly affected the flow of monthly pledge payments and new donations from India sources to the TOVP. To counter-balance the demonetization problem we are now planning tours to other parts of the world such as Malaysia, Australia, China, etc. to increase outside sources of income. Our tours to North America, South Africa, the Middle East, etc, in previous years were very successful and we pray to the Lord for good results from the planned tours in 2017.
Please pray for the continued success of the TOVP project. Your support and love has been pivotal in the ongoing progress for the satisfaction of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
To make a contribution to the TOVP please go to https://tovp.org/donate/seva-opportunities/