Dharamsala:Tibetan Scholarship Program Alumni Association launched its official website today (tsapalumni.com). Thupten Lungrig, Minister for the Department of Education inaugurated the new website in the opening ceremony in Dharamsala. The president of the association Dolkar Wangmo, Tenzin Chopal, Secretary of Education and alumni and Tibetan media were in attendance.
President Dolkar Wangmo introduced the Alumni of US Tibetan Scholarship Program. "The Tibetan Scholarship Program was created in 1988, with a grant from the US government to the Tibetan Education Depertment, making it possible to sponsor the education of 364 Tibetan students over the years".
The website states its purpose to "promote educational opportunities and democratic ideals in the Tibetan Community, thereby strengthening Tibetan culture and human resource capabilities."
According to their website, "students have received a higher education at Columbia, Yale, New York University. State University of New York , California, Massachusetts, Iowa [and others]. The vast majority of students return to their communities and become leaders."
Dolkar wangmo said "alumnis are taking high positions in their communities; in parliament, as directors of schools and NGOs, and in the media. This is a credit to the program." Out of the 363 students sponsored, 125 are currently working in the Tibetan government, in NGOs or in independent organisations in Tibetan exile communities. 40 alumni have moved abroad after serving their communities for more than two years. 70 alumni received a scholarship and did not return back to exile communities. 7 have passed away since the program began.
Minister for Education Thupten Longrig in his keynote address said, "we now have the human resources, but finding trained and qualified people is difficult. For the alumni we have offered the highest opportunities. If they are preoccupied only with their own wants and needs, I think it is not only a loss for the general community, it is not a productive way of life."
The Minister was keen to stress the importance of alumni returning to Tibetan communities, "Returning to serve the community is a very honourable and virtuous action and a service to His Holiness."
The Tibetan Scholarship Alumni Association was established in 1959. The 6th term of the Executive Body of the association is running the current program. A new executive will be elected in June.