Registration Requirements for Gaura Purnima 2007
Posted February 8, 2007
Please note that this year we intend again to very strictly guard against any illegal or illicit activity in the Dham, including intoxication and child abuse. Unfortunately, in the past a few reckless persons have thus endangered themselves and others, as well as the whole standing of ISKCON in India. Therefore, on the registration forms again this year, we have a section that is intended to help us keep the festival free of these unwanted and serious disturbances. All festival-goers must carefully read this section, especially regarding the serious consequences of being caught engaging in any illegal or illicit activity. You will be asked to sign a form stating that you are aware of our standard on this matter and that you understand the consequences of any misdemeanor. Visitors who stay at private residences on the ISKCON property must also complete these forms.
Parents traveling with youth or children under the age of eighteen will also be asked to read and discuss with their children an information sheet from the Mayapur Child Protection Team which covers general child-safety in Mayapur as well as the specific danger of child abuse. Parents must sign and return a section from this form at the time of registration. There is a child protection seminar being presented by Tamohara Prabhu, head of ISKCON's Child Protection Office, on the 16th of February. Any parents here at the time are encouraged to take part in the seminar. During the festival 2 years ago, one serious case of child molestation occurred, involving a young, unsupervised visiting child and an adult guest. This shocking and tragic type of incident must be prevented from happening again at all costs!
The few problems with intoxication that we have experienced at past festivals have usually involved younger persons under the influence of their older companions. Therefore, in order to protect our youth, we hereby notify all festival guests that anyone under eighteen years must be staying with their parent or other legal adult guardian over the legal adult age, i.e. 21 years. Only small children whose parents are under 21 years are exempt from the age restriction on their guardians. In the case that the festival guardian is not the parent or usual legal guardian, then a temporary transfer of guardianship must be supplied by the parent. At the time youth register, these guardians will be asked to sign guarantor forms, which means taking full responsibility for the supervision and behaviour of their wards at all times. This includes sharing the consequences, legal and otherwise, of any illicit activity.
Please do not expect any leniency in this regard. Immigration officials and embassies may be notified in the case of foreigners. Indian nationals will be handed over to the local police, and both will be immediately removed from the property. The local ISKCON centre in the offender's yatra and, in the case of youth, their family will also be notified. Future registration for ISKCON guesthouses and festivals in Mayapur and Vrndavan will be barred.
Anyone who became known to security or other departments as a supplier of, or regular user of, intoxication in previous festivals will not be allowed to register this year and will be asked to leave the ISKCON property immediately. The list of such persons is confidential and is held by the Mayapur Child Protection Team and the Mayapur Security Department. If you have a doubt about your own status, information will be released to YOU only, on application.
Contact Manasi Ganga (CPT) - 03472 245381
Ramadevi (CPT) - 329295 or 9732622808
Jagadartiha das (Security) - 9434057707
We genuinely regret any offense that the vast majority of sober and sincere
festival-goers may feel due to our addressing this matter, but we hope that
all of you, especially the youth, understand that our intention is to
protect children and youth from being harmed or victimized. We want to
ensure that everyone has a safe, spiritually-enlivening experience!