“Asian-Indians own almost 65% of the total motel rooms available. Our goal is to place Bhagavad-Gita As It Is in every one of those rooms,” says Milan Doshi from the Pancajanya Project. “The motel owners we already approached were very receptive. They liked the idea of placing Bhagavad-Gita As It Is in their own motels. They also gave us recommendations for their friends are relatives in the industry!” Approaching motel owners on an individual basis has proven successful.
But from April 23 — 25, the Pancajanya Project will run a booth at the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association Annual Convention. They expect between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors at the convention. The devotees plan to distribute a free Bhagavad-Gita As It Is to every single visitor. This is the main platform for announcing this project to the motel owners on a national level, and for encouraging their participation.
The Pancajanya Project was started at ISKCON Silicon Valley (ISV) under the guidance and leadership of His Grace Vaisesika Prabhu. It now has active participation from devotees from Boson and Washington, DC. Many other ISKCON communities have expressed their desire to participate in this program as well.
Each book distributed at the convention will contain a label on the front cover with contact information, a color brochure highlighting comments and testimonials from influential people, and a business reply card for making comments and placing orders. Team members will travel to the convention at their own expense, and they will stay with a local devotee family or at the temple.
But what about the other expenses? “The costs associated with the convention are about $14,500. We are desperately asking for donations to cover the costs.” Milan explains that they paid $2,500 just to be allowed to set up a booth. They spent another $10,000 to purchase books to distribute to the convention visitors. Printing costs for the brochures and business reply cards was another $1,000. Other miscellaneous costs amount to $1,000.
But the greatest challenge will come after the convention. “This convention is our first major platform for announcing the Pancajanya Project. Based on our experience, we expect to receive orders for thousands of books for placement in motel rooms,” says Milan. Unfortunately, motel owners are accustomed to receiving Bibles free of charge, and so they will expect to receive Bhagavad-Gita As It Is free of charge as well. “If they have to pay for the books, very few owners will place orders.”
Why is the Pancajanya Project willing to place Bhagavad-Gita As It Is in motel rooms free of charge? “We are dedicated to this project because of the feedback we have received so far. It has been absolutely incredible to hear reports from motel owners and testimonials from guests. So many people see the book in a drawer and start reading it just out of curiosity and just because it was there. These people might not otherwise have come into contact with Krishna consciousness,” reports Milan. People take Bhagavad-Gita As It Is to the front desk when they check out and ask whether they can take the book with them. One motel owner has had so many people ask to keep Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, that he contacted the Pancajanya Project and recommended that they put a label inside the book that says “Please take this book with you.”
The project needs funding. If you would like to find out more about the Pancajanya Project, or make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Milan Doshi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.motelgita.org for more details.[ bhagavad-gita ] [ book-distribution ] [ usa ]