The majority of these funds were raised by the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that are based in Karnataka. The remaining funds were raised by the lay Tibetan community and other Tibetan organisations in the state.
- Amruth Joshi
Amidst this exceptionally difficult time, the Refugee Tibetan community of Karnataka, mainly from various Buddhist monasteries in the state, have expressed their solidarity with the people and government of India and Karnataka, contributing over Rs. 2.5 Crores to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund and Karnataka Chief Minister Relief Fund to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Tibetans residing in the five Tibetan settlements in Karnataka have also undertaken various relief measures, providing food and dry rations to the poor and the vulnerable communities, including labourers and daily wage earners.
“As a result of the much-needed lockdown in the country, many people, especially those who are solely depended on their daily wages, are facing tremendous hardships. Hence, we, Tibetans, believe it is our utmost duty to help them in this difficult time while doing our very best to support the central and Karnataka state government’s untiring efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Mr Chophel Thupten, Chief Representative of Tibetans residing in the South Zone, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Therefore, the Tibetan community residing in Karnataka state which includes the five Tibetan settlements of Bylakuppe (New and Old), Hunsur, Mundgod, and Kollegal, as well as Tibetans living in Bangalore have collectively raised a total of Rs. 203,65,228.00 (Two crores, three lakh, sixty five thousand two hundred and twenty eight) as contributions to the PM CARES and Karnataka CM Relief Fund and relief measures.
The majority of these funds were raised by the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that are based in Karnataka; the remaining funds were raised by the lay Tibetan community and other Tibetan organisations in the state.
The monks abroad also sponsored relief activities at their personal capacities each worth approximately 15-20 lakhs.
Food kits and essential items were distributed to the daily wage workers and poor by the Tobetan monks
Tibetans in Karnataka undertook various relief measures for daily wage earners and poor locals living and working in and around the Tibetan settlements. Many of these relief measures were carried out in coordination with local Indian officials and were highly appreciated by the casual labourers, daily wage workers and the poor who received aid.
The entire Tibetan settlement area comes under Protected area, hence the area has been closed for public access. The home quarantine facility was started as early as end of first week of March and designated quarantine by third week of March. The screening all the inmates of the settlement has been done compulsorily and mask has been provided to all residents and monks by the Tibetan administration. As of now there are 79 foreigners /outsiders in the area.
The prayers for world well being was started as early as February, with senior monks of various monasteries performing special pooja and prayers.
Food kits prepared and kept ready at a Tiebtan settlement which will be distributed among the needy
Many small team of volunteers have been constituted to look after the day to day relief activities which include, security team, kitchen management team, health team, old age home care team, cleanliness and disinfection team, ration and vegetable supply team, Drinking water managenemnt team, Quarantine management team, Cremation management team etc.
Tibetans around the country have also been doing their bit to support the state and central governments’ efforts to fight the COVID-19 spread and aid the poor. Earlier this month, all of the Central Tibetan Administration staff pledged to donate their one day’s salary to the PM CARES fund.