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Foreign aid for monastery

State agriculture secretary Vivek Singh inaugurated Wat Lao International Monastery amid traditional Buddhist chanting and rituals in Bodhgaya on Sunday.

United States-based Wat Lao community has built the monastery. However, the money to build the monastery was brought to Bodhgaya following the efforts of Siddhant Vats, an 18-year-old entrepreneur, based in London.

Vats is the co-founder of Androidly Systems and has been credited for making the world’s first Android smart watch along with Apurva Sukant.

Vats said more than 500 delegates from nine countries — Laos, China, US, France, Thailand, Cambodia, Canada, Australia and Vietnam — participated in the inaugural function.

A team of artistes showcased the culture of Bihar through folk song and dance during the inaugural session.

The making of Wat Lao monastery has brought foreign investment to Bihar and will also contribute towards the growth of tourism in Bihar from all over the world since Buddhist followers are found across the globe.

This will also increase the foreign exchange in Bihar and contribute towards the economic growth. The head of Wat Lao monastery is Achaan Phramaha Bounamy, the secretary is S.K. Singh and the priest is Onta Bhante.

After making the smart watch, Vats has brought the monastery to Bodhgaya through his social institute Falak Foundation. Vats is the president of Falak Foundation.

“The idea to build a monastery took shape when I visited Washington DC and met monk Chandaphone and also visited his monastery in Virginia. I persuaded the monk that it would be appropriate to build a monastery in Bihar where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. This paved the way for the completion of the monastery,” Vats said.