Meet the Community Members
The Sujata village is a religiously and socio-economic diverse community of 3798 inhabitants, many of whom are children. The 637 households in Sujata village includes Hindu, muslim and buddhist families. The population also covers a span of different castes, wherein the middle- and Dalit-castes (the untouchables) are the most impoverished. For historical reasons the village is today known as Sujata, after the lady who taught Buddha The Golden Middle Way, by offering him rice milk on his way to Bodh Gaya where he attained enlightenment. Although the village is widely known for this story, its local official name is Bakrour, which stems from the animals and cattle that lives here.
Most of the families living here are farmers and relies on agricultural and cattle work. Many children of the local community remains without access to education as they, due to tradition and lack of resources need to accompany their families to help with farming activities, or partake in domestic household chores.
Sujata village is a picturesque area covered by acres of green rice fields. The air is fresh, and those who come visit will experience a sense tranquility which stands in contrast to the somewhat busy streets of Bodh Gaya. It is also an ideal place for sunrise and sunset spotting, as the sun Bakrour is also the site of many holy pilgrimage sites. An ancient Stupa built in honour of the Lady Sujata can be found nearby. The Bodhi tree where Lady Sujata offered Buddha rice milk, is also located close by. You will moreover be able to enjoy the view of the Mahakala mountains from this village, which is located twenty minutes by car from Sujata. The Mahakala cave is a renowned pilgrimage site, known to be the place where according to some traditions Buddha spent close to six years before he attained enlightenment.
All photography provided by Rune- André Tveit. Everyone depicted has given their consent.