` Friends of Tibet: People's Movement for an Independent Tibet

July 6, 2019: World Tibet Day
Media Statement Issued by: World Tibet Day Foundation & Friends of Tibet
Issued on: Saturday, July 6, 2019

World Tibet Day 2019 Theme from Design & People

DOWNLOAD: Press Release (English) | The New Indian Express Report

World Tibet Day in Mumbai
(July 6, 2019 | Report by: Friends of Tibet: Mumbai)

World Tibet Day 2019 in Mumbai

ACCEPTING the precious teachings of their enlightened Master into their lives in letter and spirit, the Tibetans including their spiritual leaders led a holistic, compassionate life as instructed by Buddha.

Accordingly, Friends of Tibet Foundation for the Wellbeing, the philanthropic initiative of Friends of Tibet has been for the last ten years conducting Wellbeing Medical Camps in Kerala and Mumbai regularly jointly with Doctors from Men-Tsee-Khang, Men-Tsee-Khang, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of HH the Dalai Lama. From the very start of the Kerala Wellbeing Camps, free medicines are being given to poor patients. Even while continuing with that relief and charity works in Kerala and in Mumbai, this year in 2019 Wellbeing Foundation has decided to celebrate the 84th birthday of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama on July 6, 2019, also observed every year worldwide as World Tibet Day, by providing free food to the patients and relatives at Tata Memorial Hospital and KPM Hospital in Mumbai. We earnestly hope this initiative from Friends of Tibet Foundation for the Wellbeing would inspire lots of others and organisation's to take up similar such compassionate initiatives which would give much relief and solace to the sick and poor people as Buddha had exhorted.

While launching 'Wellbeing Free Meal Scheme' in Mumbai, Rohit Singh, Friends of Tibet Campaigner summarised the unique work by saying "In this unequal world, sharing food means giving a person — hope, life, medicine, and a night of good sleep!"

"I saw patients and their family members mentally broken and completely lost their hopes and smiles. Through 'Wellbeing Free Mid-Day Meal Scheme', we could motivate them and bring their smile and happiness back which may help them to survive or to have a positive approach towards life. Spreading this approach is our motto and the purpose of being Friends of Tibet Foundation for the Wellbeing Campaigner," says Santosh Kangutkar who took the initiative of launching the 'Wellbeing Free Mid-Day Meal Scheme' in Mumbai on World Tibet Day.

Friends of Tibet thank Rohit Singh and Santosh Kangutkar, Friends of Tibet Campaigners from Mumbai who launched 'Wellbeing Free Mid-Day Meal Scheme' of Friends of Tibet Foundation for the Wellbeing in Mumbai on World Tibet Day.

World Tibet Day 2019 in Mumbai

The Tibetan Connection
(July 6, 2019 | Report by: Dan Maria | The New Indian Express)

TENZIN Norzom gazes at the painting on the wall. "That is Tibet," she says. The scene is of a grassy slope on which two tents are pitched and a few cattle are grazing. A swirl of hazy-white smoke bellows up from a tent, and a man and his son, clad in local attire, stand next to a stream of fading blue. The mold, at the corners of the frame, indicates that the painting is old.

Norzom has never been to Tibet, but this painted valley, lulled by the calm of the people and the cattle, is that of her homeland. Her father, Tenzin Jigme, was one among the many thousands who came to India after fleeing Tibet when the Chinese invasion intensified in the 1950s. Today, Jigme runs a Tibetan restaurant in Fort Kochi along with his wife and two children, after spending years moving from one Indian city to another.

Like most Tibetans in India, Jigme and his family live a life conscious of the frays apparent in the tapestry of their culture. Most of the Tibetans who fled their homeland years ago are no more. They lived and breathed their last in India, working in construction camps, raising families in make-shift tents along the national highways in the north. As these families grew, taking roots, the assurance of their homecoming became prayers which only a few uttered.

The rest, the children of the exile, live in a bardo, caught between reality and a horizon. Their reality is the life they lead as refugees in the country of their birth and their horizon becomes the land promised afar. "The passing of time or generations does not diminish an injustice. The fact that Tibetans are banished from the land of their ancestors and are still disenfranchised will remain an injustice perpetrated. As long as Tibetans are denied their homeland, their yearning for their country will remain and their national identity is a symbol of their struggle," says Tushar Gandhi, Advisory Board Member of Friends of Tibet, an organisation which voices the Free Tibet movement.

Founded by Sethu Das, Friends of Tibet was initially purposed to cultivate awareness on the Tibetan cause. Today, in its 20th year, the organisation conducts, with vigour, candlelight vigils, Made-in-China boycott campaigns, photo exhibitions, medical camps, and poetry readings across the country.

World Tibet Day 2019 report by The New Indian Express

Today, there are many organisations working for the wellbeing of the Tibetan community and the conservation of their culture. Taking after the ideal of non- violence of their spiritual leader, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, these organisations work towards freeing Tibet and voicing the rights of Tibetans. The growing number of such organisations and their non-Tibetan members stands witness to the Tibetan cause gaining recognition.

"The Free Tibet Movement has become a symbol of nonviolence in practice. A battle of right is being waged against the might and we must stand in solidarity with the aspirations of the people of Tibet. India must champion the rights of the Tibetan people to free their motherland. Free Tibet must become a universal cause and India its champion," says Gandhi, about Indiaís responsibility.

June 20th and July 6th are observed as World Refugee Day and World Tibet Day respectively. Yet another year added to the exile years and for these Tibetans, these celebrations become cruel reminders of time tattering the memory of their race. Today, Jigme remembers his homeland. His daughter Norzom remembers too, but only from her fatherís memories. Jigme dreads the day when Tibet will cease to exist in the memory of her people. Norzom shrugs as she moves to attend the next table.

World Tibet Day (WTD) was initiated in Chicago in 1997 at an informal meeting between Tendzin Choegyal, the Dalai Lamaís younger brother and Richard Rosenkranz, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in history and a former correspondent from the US Senate. Rosenkranz proposed the concept of WTD, saying it could become an annual worldwide event, designed to help the Tibetan people regain essential freedoms. He also suggested this event could be a way to showcase and celebrate the unique value of Tibetan culture and thought. Enthusiastic about the idea, Tendzin Choegyal suggested WTD should be held in July, linked to his brother's birthday, in order to increase potential support among Tibetans. Believing that the proposed event held great promise, they offered the idea to His Holiness, who gave them his blessing and his warm support. Founded in 1998, World Tibet Day has grown into one of the most important events on the Tibetan calendar.

To know more about this global event, call/WhatsApp Friends of Tibet: 9400354354, 9061354354. Email: worldtibetday@friendsoftibet.org Web: www.worldtibetday.org

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Friends of Tibet, PO Box 16674, Mumbai 400050, India.
Email: freedom@friendsoftibet.org Web: www.friendsoftibet.org