Tibetans launch Thank You India campaign

Chennai,January 18, 2018 : The President of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dr. Lobsang Sangay officially launched the year-long ‘Thank you India’ campaign . This is an important undertaking of CTA and the Tibetan people for the year 2018.

President Dr. Sangay said that the year 2018 issignificant since March 31, 2018 will mark the beginning of the 60thyear of His Holiness the Dalai Lama stepping on the Indian soil. Dr. Sangayalso said that His Holiness was followed by tens of thousands of Tibetans whoescaped to India. 

“Since March 1959, India has been a second home forthe Tibetan people and Indians have provided profound support for the Tibetanstruggle for preservation of culture, identity and language. His Holinessrefers to India as the ‘Guru’ and Tibet as its ‘Chela’. The Guru-Chela relationbetween India and Tibet only got strengthened with the presence of His Holinessthe Dalai Lama in India. Widely referred to as the ‘Son of India’ and a truefollower of Mahatma Gandhi, His Holiness continues to advocate the revival ofIndia’s ancient wisdom based on the traditions of Nalanda and the inclusion ofSecular ethics - the development of the head and the heart and the instillingthe basic human values of love, compassion and altruism, in the moderneducation system Today, His Holiness is the best ambassador for Indian valuesof non-violence, ahimsa and inter-religious harmony and the promotion of basichuman values: compassion and kindness,” said Dr. Sangay.

Dr. Sangay further said that when His Holiness firststepped on Indian soil on March 31, 1959, he experienced ‘freedom.’ “It was inexile that he found freedom thanks to the compassionate underpinning of thehospitality and generosity extended by India and such virtuous offerings haveset the foundations for the noble, benevolent and magnanimous work he continuesto do for the world at large.” 

Referring to the Tibetan struggle based on theprinciples of truth, non-violence and justice as ‘Made in India struggle,’ Dr.Sangay alluded to the fact that that the success of the Tibetan struggle willboth determine and reflect India’s success story. He further added that Indiahas the legitimacy, the privilege and the ability to support, sustain andensure the success of the Tibetan struggle. 

Dr. Sangay also said that it is time that Tibetanspublicly express gratitude to the government and people of India and the ‘Thankyou India 2018’ campaign is borne out of this endeavour. 

International Relations Secretary of Department ofInformation and International Relations (DIIR), Sonam Norbu Dagpo said thatwith the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and under the leadership ofthe Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetan

people across India will observe the year 2018 with aseries of Pan-India events spanning 12 months both on the physical and virtualspace to publicly express gratitude to the Government and people of India.“Tibetans will thank India for ensuring the success of the efforts of Tibetanpeople: promoting its rich ancient culture and unique identity, assuring theviability and sustainability of Tibetan leadership and Tibetan communities, andleading the Tibetan struggle for justice through steadfast commitment tonon-violence and dialogue,” said Dagpo. 

Dagpo further said that besides the week-long event inDelhi (March 31 - April 7, 2018), similar events will be organized inBangalore, Shimla and in 20 different cities across India. 

Expounding on the week-long Delhi events, InformationSecretary of DIIR, Dhardon Sharling said that an interfaith prayer meeting ofleaders of different religious faith led by His Holiness the Dalai Lamaon March 31 at Rajghat will mark an auspicious start to the year-longThank you India campaign. 

“This will be followed by a high-level public event atThyagaraj Stadium on April 1, which would be graced by His Holiness theDalai Lama. The event will feature public addresses by Indian dignitaries,Tibetan cultural performances and is expected to draw over 5000 people. Thiswill kick-start the week-long ‘Thank you India’ festival in Delhi. A three-dayThank you India Tibet Festival at India International Centre (IIC) from April2 - 4, 2018, aspires to bring Tibetan art, culture, health, history,literature, food and educational activities together at India InternationalCentre. A three-day Little Tibet Festival in the heart of Delhi from April5 - 7, will showcase the taste of Tibetan food and the cultural and fashionableside to Tibetan apparel and accessories,” said Dhardon. Dhardon further addedthat a series of individual and mass campaigns will be carried out both onground and on social media to express gratitude to India. 

The individual and mass campaigns to mark the yearlongevent are as follows: 

May 29, 2018 - Pray for India: Onthe 15th day of Saka Dawa (Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death), Tibetanmonasteries and nunneries across India will observe an interfaith prayermeeting titled ‘Pray for India’ where Buddhist monks along with leaders ofdifferent religious tradition and faith will pray for India’s success andwellbeing of the Indian people. 

June 5, 2018 - Toward a Green India: OnWorld Environment Day, Tibetans in India will engage in a mass tree plantationdrive. 

June 21, 2018 - Toward a HealthyIndia: On International Yoga Day, Tibetans in India willtake part in Yoga day events organized by Ministry of Ayush, Government ofIndia. 

July 6, 2018 - Feed the Hungry: Onthe occasion of the 83rd birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetansacross India will feed the hungry and the homeless. 

October 2, 2018 – Toward a CleanIndia: On the occasion of the observing of Swachh Bharatday, an initiative of the Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation,Tibetans in India will initiate a mass cleanliness drive. 

December 10, 2018 - Cover the Cold: Onthe occasion of World Human Rights Day and 29th anniversary of conferment ofNoble Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetans across India willdistribute blankets and warm clothes to the homeless.

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