Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, chairperson of the Lumbini Development Project has stated the “Faith of Lumbini” project is progressing into its 3rd phase which focuses on developing the area surrounding the Baby Buddha statue, and a 1-kilometer road access to the statue. After the development, a first-aid station will be built to facilitate sick pilgrims visiting the place. A number of restrooms will be built as well.
To support the project, a fund-raising is taking place at Central World in Ratchaprasong area during August 9-16, 2012, starting from 9 am to 7.09 pm. The highlight of the event is the unveiling of a replica of the Pillar of Ashoka, which the Lumbini Administration has given as a gift to the Thai people who have helped restore the pilgrimage site. Furthermore, 500 bottles of holy water are distributed daily to people who come and pray at the event. The holy water comes from the 3,000-year-old sacred pool of “Puskarni” in Lumbini, known to Thais as Bok Khorani pond. Those people who cannot make it to the fund-raising event can make donations at all branches of 7-Eleven and Thailandpost.
At present, over 400,000 people have come to the event and donated gold sheets with their names inscribed on to the project. There are 200,000 sheets left to be donated. These sheets will be used to cast a 3.55-meter height Buddha statue. The casting will be implemented during September to October at Sanamluang and the statue will be placed in front of the Lumbini gate when finished.