International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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17th World Vegetarian Congress 1963
Barcelona, Spain

Delegate Report

Mr. J. N. Mankar
(Report of the Hon. Regional Secretary of India and the East)

As secretary of the I.V.U. for India and the East I herewith submit a brief report on the activities for the propagation of vegetarianism in this part of the world for the past two years.

Following the 15th Session of the World Vegetarian Congress, a strong national organisation styled the Indian Vegetarian Congress has duly been formed with Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale as its President. Apart from the publication of a quarterly, the Indian Vegetarian Congress is trying to set up branches in the prominent cities of India and also co-ordinating all humanitarian organisations which have the propaganda of vegetarianism as one of their objects. Accordingly, branches at Delhi and Bangalore have duly been established, and efforts are afoot for a similar branch at Calcutta. At Bombay, though about a couple of years ago a branch of Indian Vegetarian Congress was duly inaugurated, no work worthy of the name could be turned out. In consultation with the Committee of the Indian Vege-tarian Congress that branch has been closed, and instead an independent organisation styled "Bombay Vegetarian Society" has duly been formed and affiliated with the Indian Vegetarian Congress. The Bombay Vegetarian Society has prepared elaborate plans for the propagation of vegetarianism in a modern and scientific way, and especially educating younger genera-tions in this respect. The official delegate of Bombay Vegetarian Society who is attending the Congress will place before you the items of interest with regard to their future activities.

After I attended the 16th Session of the World Vegetarian Congress in Germany, at Hannover, and Hamburg, the Visva Ahimsa Sangh at their last meeting decided to start a Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre along with their proposed Ahimsa Research Centre. The difficulties in the pro-curement of land held up the starting of such a centre. But luckily, a plot of land has been secured for the proposed Ahimsa University.

The Bombay Humanitarian League, one of the pioneer organisations propagating vegetarianism in the entire country, continued its activities in this field by educating more than 3,000 students on matters of vegetarian diet and compassion, through Prize Essay Competition Schemes. They also have District Organisers to go on lecture tours at different places with magic lantern. During the two years' period more than 500 villages were visited and useful propaganda was carried on among the masses.

Publishing of literature is one of the major means for approaching educated people and placing before them the advantages of vegetarian way of life. About half-a-dozen such leaflets were published and distributed in the country.

Though no efforts could be made for the observance of a meatless day in the entire country, the All India Humanitarian Day, being the birthday of Lord Mahavir, was observed as a Meatless Day by several states, either by resolutions passed by municipalities or by persuasion.

The Bombay Humanitarian League, All India Animal Welfare Association and I.V.U. for India and Eastern countries organised a vegetarian stall in the food festival held at National Sports Club organised by the Women's Food Council and gave demonstration of delicious vegetarian menus, through the help of Mistan Bhandar, which were appreciated by the people who visited the stall in thousands. The 7th Day Adventists mission also put up a similar stall displaying preparations from Soya bean and others and offering useful literature for sale.

At the Fruit and Flower Show held at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay, during this year, similar vegetarian stall was put up.

The All India Animal Welfare Association, which sympathises with the cause of vegetarianism and frequently participates in its propagation, issued a very impressive appeal to the Parsi Community to refrain from killing thousands of birds on Nowjot and marriage ceremonies as is customary. This appeal was echoed by newspapers like Jani-e-Jamshed and had a very good effect.

Gujrat State, which is pre-eminently vegetarian, has efforts for the use of animal food items made at State level. Propaganda is carried out by the League to refrain from the use of fish, meat and fowl through Gram Panchayats and the workers of Bombay Humanitarian League. The Government have also agreed to restrict their fishing industries only to sea coast and avoiding all schemes for fishing in villages.

Subsequent to the formation of huge schemes for starting four modern mechanised abattoirs at Calcutta, Delhi, Madras and Bombay, the Bombay Humanitarian League organised protests throughout the country against such a scheme evidently meant for the increased production of beef and meat and other allied industries for export purposes. The schemes at Delhi and Calcutta have been shelved due to Opposition and legal difficulties, while the one at Bombay is for the present postponed, due to emergency.

It could thus be seen that even though non-vegetarianism is making a headway in our country against our culture and tradition, public conscience is fully awakened and does not desire the meat industry or its export trade on a large scale. In several towns and cities a token strike was observed and a huge public meeting was held on October 4th, 1962, throughout the country demanding the abandonment of all plans for such abattoirs.
Through the efforts of Theosophist friends the Pakistan Vegetarian Society has been formed and is gaining ground. Literature, leaflets and advice are being given to them from time to time.

The Burma Humanitarian League, as usual, is also active on this point. During Buddhist Lent this society organises one or two vegetarian dinners in which non-vegetarian Buddhist monks participate and public opinion is created through the distribution of leaflets and literature. The Bombay Humanitarian League helps them in this matter.

From January 1st, 1960, we began with a balance of Rs.849/18 lying with the United Commercial Bank Ltd. as mentioned in the last balance sheet submitted by me to the German Congress. We have since then realised Rs.676/22 by way of subscription from members and affiliated organisations. Rs.375/50 was credited by Mr. A. Jindal to be paid to Mr. Jack Trop whose film was imported on the occasion of the 15th World Vegetarian Congress, as against which Rs.460/- are debited being the price of the film, transport and other charges.

Aganist a total amount of Rs.1900/90 an expenditure under different heads is shown to the extent of Rs.1337/23 leaving a balance of Rs.563/67 ending December, 1962, which we have deposited in the City Co-operative Bank Ltd., Bombay.