The Gu-Chu-Sum movement celebrated its 11th year of students graduating from the education program it provides this this week. The event was attended by around 40 guests, and was hoisted by chief guest Sonam Tempel, who presented certificates to each of the proud students, and offered prayer scarves at the upbeat event.
Khunchok Dhunden; one of the graduated, had a particularly good day, as he was awarded the ‘First Prize' for the highest grade in his class, as well as the ‘best Graduate' Award. The second award recognizes students for their good attitude towards work, character and attitude, and a monetary gift is also offered to acknowledge Dhunden's achievements.
The second prize was a draw between two students, and third place was also recognized by the chief guest.
Sonam Tempel said: "At this time our society is very critical and is changing, because recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama retired from politics, and the Tibetan Cabinet members are new; including the Kalon Tripa. The 14 Tibetan Parliament members have ended their term."
He also stated: "In Tibet, the situation is critical in Amdo, and Kardze: Eastern Tibet. We should care about this, and consider the situation."
Each class consists of three types of students: ex-political prisoners-who have been detained under Chinese rule, the family members of political prisoners, or individuals that must flee Tibet to avoid persecution or risk of imprisonment under Chinese rule. The movement attempts to assist those who have seriously struggled under Chinese persecution in Tibet. Students are taught English, and have computer lessons, as well as a Tibetan course.
Gu-Chu-Sum also provides help for the class Tibetans, by offering accommodation, food, and 300 Indian Rupees a Month to assist with expenses.
General Secretary of the movement Gang Lhamo highlighted: "As we are political prisoners, even though you have graduated and are leaving Gu-Chu-Sum, you should always take responsibility, and remember that Tibetan Political Prisoners are different form others, in character, and you should remember this in society".
The Gu-Chu-Sum Movement was established in September of 1991, and is will celebrate its twentieth year of aiding the Tibetan cause this year.