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Dharamshala: - India Tibet Friendship Society Saturday March 26 has expanded its new chapter operation in Goa when the prominent Goans and Tibetans came together with an aim to engage the civil society in a dialogue about issues of freedom and human rights.

Briefing the media in a joint news conference in Goa on Saturday, the general secretary of the organization, Aparna Shah, said that the aim of the India Tibet Friendship Society (ITFS), which was founded in 1960, is to preserve, promote and strengthen the long-standing cultural and religious relations between the people of India and Tibet,

The society, Shah said, will focus on building emphatic bonds with the Tibetans in Goa and supporting their struggle in exile, and that the society in Goa will work towards making the Indian and Tibetan people aware of the age-old ITFS and understanding towards the promotion of peace, harmony and stability in the subcontinent. Shah added "My belief is that the Goan people, in their humane support to the Tibetans, shall find a deeper meaning of their own freedom and culture and cherish and build Goa to greater glory."

ITFS, Goa chapter, will have at its helm eminent citizens: IITian and founder of the NGO, CAIM society, Jayant Shah, managing director of Advertising Associates and other media organizations in Goa Kedar Dhume, and clinical immunologist and secretary of the Voluntary Health Association of Goa Anita Kamath Dudhane.

Ms Shah also said it would also celebrate the important occasions of both the countries, besides organizing seminars, symposiums, exhibitions and lectures on topics that concern the common interests of the people of India and Tibet.

Environmentalist Nirmal Kulkarni, founder and director of Tara Trust-an NGO working for underprivileged children-Katharina Poggendrof Kakkar and former MLA in the government of Tibet in exile Tsering Choppel are also among the members on the committee of the India Tibet Friendship Society, Goa chapter.

On the occasion, the committee of ITFS Goa Chapter was also formed. Its committee members are Jayant Shah as president, Tsering Choepell (vice-president), Aparna J Shah (general secretary), Tsewang Chopell (execuctive secretary), Tsering Choekyi (treasurer).

According to Mr. Manoj Kuma of Delhi ITFS, there are currently 105 chapters across the India. The Goa Chapter will focus on building emphatic bonds with the Tibetans in Goa and supporting their struggle in exile and learning lessons from the Tibetans and their leadership in preservation of their culture, besides working on cultural renaissance programmes.

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