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30october20104Dharamshala: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on Saturday (29 October) celebrated the Tibetan Children Village's 50th founding anniversary in Dharamshala, the exile capital.

The 50th anniversary was celebrated by over 5,000 people from a multitude of nations, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also present were by Ven. Tsering Phuntsok, Minister for Religion and Culture and the acting Prime Minister, Dolma Gyari, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan parliament in exile, and other dignitaries including several sponsors of the school.

TCV began as a Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children on 17 May 1960, a year after the arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans in India from Tibet following brutal repression by the government of People's Republic of China. It now takes care of over 16,000 children in fraternities extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in the South. It established The Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education in Bangalore as part of its efforts to tackle challenges in the field of higher education in specialised studies

The Tibetan leader spoke about the TCV's achievements since its humble beginnings 50 years ago, "The Indian government rented us two empty bungalows for the purpose near my present home at Dharamshala and I appointed my elder sister, Tsering Dolma, to run it. The result was overwhelming - for almost before we knew where we were - over 800 tiny children has been placed in our care within months. My sister and her voluntary helpers had to improvise the barest necessities of life of this enormous family. This, the Tibetan Refugee Nursery, was the beginning of TCV. Since then it has grown from strength to strength," His Holiness said.

30october20105However, he urged the school administration not to give in to negligence and complacency, and to strengthen their efforts to make further progress.

"For the students, past and present, of TCV here in Dharamshala and elsewhere in India, I urge you to remember and preserve your Tibetan identity, while at the same time keeping in mind that your education has prepared you to be participating citizens of the twenty-first century."

The daylong event hosted by the students of the TCV included calisthenics performances, a marching band, cultural dances and songs. "It was a truly amazing event, I felt very fortunate to be able to witness such a momentous occasion," said Casper Lützen from Denmark.

Later in the evening, school children undertook a candle light vigil marching in Dharamshala to show their solidarity with the Tibetan students' protests in Amdho against the imposition of Chinese language as the medium of instruction in Tibetan schools.

For more photos of the anniversary, please visit latest gallery for TCV school.

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