Dharamshala- India has thousands of Tibetan refugees spread across various settlements, mainly in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and other smaller pockets, recently the state governments are considering extending schemes of public welfare to them.
According to a Hindustan Times report, in a letter dated 15 May from the union Ministry of Home Affairs, the States have been given new guidelines from the Centre in this regard.
The new policy makes it mandatory for all the state governments to sign lease documents for the land occupied by the Tibetan refugees. The policy also clarifies that the state government should sign lease agreements with the Central Tibetan Relief Committee and not with individuals.
As of now, there are more than 1.2 lakh Tibetans spread across 45 settlements in more than 10 states of India. The Central government wants the state governments to bring about uniformity in extending different benefits to the Tibetan population. The Centre has now directed that State and Centre backed schemes should be made to reach out to the Tibetans in exile.
Tibetans living in India can now avail the benefits of the MGNREGS (The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), Rajiv Awas Yojana which envisages a "Slum-free India", NHRM (National Rural Health Management) and the public distribution system. Tibetans can also avail loans from nationalised banks. There is also a proposal to give scholarships to Tibetan students.
The new guidelines have directed to provide special subsidies to Tibetan children pursuing professional courses. The states have been asked to give special permission for separate land allocations to Tibetans for running 'Tibetan bazaars' and all the co-operative societies run by the Tibetans will be registered in the state.
However, it remains to be seen if the Modi led NDA government adopts the proposals made by the UPA government through a letter dated 15 May, a day before the Lok Sabha election results were announced.
The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, had fled from Lhasa in 1959 and came to India when the Chinese attacked the erstwhile capital of Tibet.