On the Road with Jim Luce, School Opening and a Breakthrough

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Roosevelt Islander Jim Luce’s notes, on the fly, are casually enthusiastic. They betray the powerful impact that he and his foundations achieve in their work. But we’ll try putting it in perspective.

by David Stone

for The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Saraswati School Opening

Marching at the school opening.
The picture is blurry, but you can see Luce in the parade. He’s the tall kid in the middle in saffron and white. The temperature is 109 degrees.

“We will rise at six for an 8 o’clock Opening Cremony,” Luce texted The Daily. “Indian apparel has been measured and arranged and will be delivered in the morning.”

The tailoring worked. Bix and Jim Luce in their new garb for the ceremony.

“A tailor is working all night to deliver it. I understand there will be three Hindu priests and a crowd of about 300. High ranking Tibetan Buddhist monks will also be in attendance, along as many of our Muslim team members. Bix Is being acknowledged as my partner in large banners and in the program. 

“We drove out 20 minutes to the suburbs to see it tonight. It is a hive of workers setting it up.

“Children on the road outside are happy, barefoot and dirty. I asked who they were, and we’re informed that they were my students. Tomorrow they will be well groomed and wearing our school uniform for their first day of education.”

Local news coverage in India.

An “incredible” breakthrough…

But this trip is far from over, and there’s already a big breakthrough…

“I just brokered an exchange program with the Manjushree orphanage 8000 feet up in the Himalayan mountains. We will send 50 kids to them and they will send 50 of the kids to us. The Buddhists will learn about Hinduism and the Hindus will learn about Buddhism. Incredible.”

We will continue with these stories as Jim Luce’s team continues the stretch from Roosevelt Island to high up in the Himalayas.

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