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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Slums to schools: Tibetan monk becomes the guardian angel of 100 Indian children

June 12, 2017

Indian Express, June 12, 2017 - Tibetan monk Lobsang Jamyang was 24 when he escaped from Tibet in 1997. Jamyang had only two things on his mind when he escaped from Tibet, the first was to meet the Dalai Lama and the second was to study religion. Jamyang achieved his first goal soon after arriving in Dharamsala in India. For his second goal the Tibetan Monk went to Sera Jey Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka. But it was after his return to Dharamshala in 2001 that he realised that there is more that he can do and that his religion has more to teach him.

Jamyang told the Indian Express that two children used to follow him in the morning as he left for the monastery in the morning and follow him back in the evening. He said that the children used to beg him for money or something to eat. One day the monk saw the children forage for food in a rubbish bin which made him think that the children cannot sustain themselves like this in the long run.

Jamyang told the Indian Express that “I did not know how to help these children and I also did not know much about Indian culture. All the people that I spoke to told me that these children were thieves and rag pickers. My conscience did not allow me to act like a mute spectator. I could not allow this to happen as a follower of Dalai Lama and as a student of Buddhism”.

The monk then set up the Tong-Len Charitable Trust, a residential establishment in Sarah village 15 km from Dharamshala. Now, 107 children, most of the ragpickers from neighbouring Kangra Valley stay at the trust. The Trust is collaborating with a local school, Dayanand Model Senior Secondary School, to provide education to these children.

Pinky, the daughter of daily wage workers and a resident of the Trust, has just scored 75 percent marks in the science stream in Class 12 and is preparing to be a doctor. The Principal of the school, Meenakshi Gautam says that she is glad that her school is part of the initiative. Gautam said ”We are lucky to be a part of this initiative. 100 children from the trust are a part of our school”.

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