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karpama tibet museumDharamshala — Gyalwang Karmapa Ogen Trinley Dorjee Rinpoche visited The Tibet Museum on December 14th to inaugurate a new photo exhibition titled ‘Grasslands’. The exhibition features compilation of images of Tibetan grasslands and pastoral nomads captured by professional photographer Kunchok Gyaltsen.

Mr Sonam Norbu Dagpo and Ms Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, the two Secretaries of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) attended the inauguration along with Mr Tashi Phuntsok, Director of Tibet Museum and its staff.

In his inaugural remarks, Gyalwang Karmapa Rinpoche recalled his childhood in a nomadic family and lauded the photographer for his earnest efforts to capture the essence of Tibet through photography. He also emphasised the importance of safeguarding Tibet’s fragile ecology for the benefit of all sentient beings. “As a child in a nomad family in Tibet, I remember the lush green pastures and grasslands that I used to play on. In those days, pollution was at a minimum and the plastic bags and bottles that have become a common sight now were a rarity.

“However, according to reports, these grasslands and pastures have become a victim to environmental pollution caused both as a result of changing lifestyles and irresponsibility on the part of individuals.Therefore, its important to exert every effort that we can to protect the environment. We may feel that a single person’s actions and efforts may not have a significant impact but remember that our collective effort will be crucial to retain the purity of Tibet’s environment in its natural state,” Rinpoche added.

Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo, spoke about the deteriorating environmental situation of the Tibetan plateau including the desertification of the rich and verdant grasslands of Tibet. “Tibet is the roof of the world and the water tower of Asia as it’s the source of the major rivers of Asia. However, the environmental situation inside Tibet has been degrading under the Chinese government’s failed policies. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to do something to safeguard Tibet’s environment,” he said.

Photographer Kunchok Gyaltsen explained the idea behind the photo exhibition, stating that his goal was to effectively portray the lives and the unique lifestyles of the people who are still inside Tibet so that others may be touched and inspired to go and see the situation themselves.

‘Grassland’ is an initiative by the photographer to portray the endangered situation of Tibetan religion, language, environment and customs through the agency of photography. The exhibition will be open to visitors for the next three months.

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