At the event the Dalai Lama was joined by Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal, Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay, Joint Secretary and Chairman of the CTSA, Shri Apurva Chandra, and the Secretary for School Education and Literacy, Shrimati Anshu Vaishji.
CTSA opened their first school in Mussoorie where 50 students attended lessons. Later on, schools were opened in Shimla, Dalhousie and Darjeeling. As for today, approximately 8750 students receive modern education in 67 schools opened by CTSA.
Lobsang Sangay, Tibet's Prime Minister, former student of the CTSA school in Darjeeling, expressed his gratitude to the association, especially for His Holiness's vision, which the CTSA has put into effect and India government for providing modern education to Tibetan children. "It's easy to thank you on the one hand, but difficult on the other, because we can't thank you enough", said Lobsang Sangay.
The other speaker at the event Kapil Sibal, the minister for Human Resource Development in the Union Government, mentioned that as today they celebrate this Golden Jubilee, they should move forward and try to improve their work. He quoted Douglas Adams: ""The best way to predict the future is to build it," which is exactly what we should be doing".
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama started his speech, he remembered Pandit Nehru with a smile on his face. After the arrival to India in 1959, the Dalai Lama immediately got concerned about the future of about 80,000 Tibetan refugees.
"He [Pandit Nehru] came to meet me soon after my arrival in India; when we were discussing education, he told me that the best way to keep the Tibet issue alive was to educate our children. There was discussion about what the medium of instruction should be, whether it should be Hindi or English. Nehru recommended English because it is an international language. After lunch he insisted that we announce the formation of the CTSA. Now, 52 years later, this organization is still looking after our schools", said His Holiness.
He also spoke about the history of Tibet and India, when Tibetan Emperors during the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries have invited Indian teachers to educate locals. Even today, Tibetans prefer to learn Buddhism directly from Indian sources.
"I regard India as our Guru and us as your chela, because, just as in ancient times you taught us Buddhism, so in the present you have given us modern education. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to this. I thank you on my own part, on behalf of the Tibetan refugee community and on behalf of the 6 million Tibetans", concluded his speech His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During his 8 day visit in Delhi, His Holiness will be also giving talks on The Importance of Non-Violence and Ethical Values as well as teachings and conferring the Avalokiteshvera Initiation.