Dharamshala — “It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, tall or short. If you focus and study hard, you will achieve your target one day. I am speaking from my own experience,” said democratically elected Prime Minister, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay to students at the Tibetan Homes Foundation in Dehradun.
Sikyong arrived in Dehradun March 30th for a five-day program in the city and other areas in the state of Uttarkhand. He was welcomed at the airport by Mr Norbu, Settlement Officer of Dickyling and Mr Karma Chungdak, Secretary of Tibetan Homes Foundation (THF) along with representatives of Tibetan governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Sikyong’s first stop of the trip was the THF School in Gohri Mafi, located about 35 minutes from Dehradun city where he interacted with the students and staff of the school. Sikyong explained the Kashag’s flagship five-fifty strategy to resolve the Tibet issue.
“The five-fifty is a win-win strategy as it calls for renewed efforts to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people in the next five years while strategising to strengthen and sustain the Tibetan movement over the next fifty years,” he said.
“For the long term sustenance of the Tibetan movement, we need a robust socio-economic foundation and that will come about only if we invest in the education of Tibetan children,” Sikyong noted.
Encouraging the students to strive for academic excellence, Sikyong shared personal experiences of school and college, and extolled hard work as the key to succeed in life. “It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, tall or short. If you focus and study hard, you will achieve your target one day. I am speaking from my own experience,” Sikyong told the students, explaining that 10 hours of study daily is a must.
Sikyong also spoke about the Kashag’s emphasis on the empowerment of women and called on more women to hold the mantle of leadership. Reiterating His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s belief, Sikyong said that women are better equipped to be leaders due to their innate intellectual and compassionate capacity.
He further condemned sexual violence in schools and said that the Kashag will exercise zero tolerance against such misdemeanors. “Such perpetrators will be dealt with accordingly and handed over to the police without any second thoughts,” he asserted.
The introductory remarks of the brief ceremony were delivered by Mr Karma Chungdak, Secretary of THF, and the vote of thanks was delivered by Ms Sonam Dolma, head mistress of the school.
This is Sikyong’s first visit to the school. The school is a branch of Tibetan Homes Foundation based in Mussoorie and currently has a population of 270 students and 18 teachers. The school was established in 2011.
Tomorrow, Sikyong, on behalf of the Kashag, will offer a Long Life Prayer to Sakya Gongma Rinpoche and will attend teachings being given by the newly enthroned 42nd Sakya Trizin Rinpoche.