Thrinley Jigmey, a 3rd year tourism student at Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore, Karnataka State, South India. Photo: TPI/Dawa Tsering

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Bangalore — TPI Reporter Dawa Tsering has interviewed Thrinley Jigmey (3rd year tourism student at Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore) about Tibetan youth and education.

Q— Can you share with us your past to till today's story about how did you struggle to seek education during the current dark era of Tibetan history in the gist.

Ans— It was during the winter of the year 2004, the harsh climate and thick snowfalls hindered the Chinese soldiers to guard the border and so I was sent by my parents to seek blessing and education at India under his holiness care. I was admitted to study at Tibetan Homes School, Mussoorie and it's branch THS Rajpur over where I graduated my 12th grade.

Currently, I am doing Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Tourism as the main subject along with history and journalism at Kristu Jayanti College of Bangalore, Karnataka. For fifteen years, I got an opportunity to study while for fifteen years I have never seen my parents because of the political problems, I feel both great and upset at the same time for my situation which isn't a normal thing for worldwide children.

Q— During your life at both school and college, how do you perceive education as a tool to aid the betterment of someone's (especially young Tibetans) future in a practical world and what differences do you think would education can bring changes in a vast society or a community?

Ans— For being a student, I am always confident and believe that education could make a difference even for desperate students and indeed it does. Educated means a person who is accountable to handle the worst situation with a lesser or no loses, educated Tibetans in our society could also bring a change in our circumstances as is evident nowadays. It's obvious that intellect person has a capability to elevate not just a personal matter but also a communal's.

Q— As a young college student and being a Tibetan along, do you really think that your 15 years of study will benefit you in near future where the opportunities and scope for exiled Tibetans were limited?

Ans— I am not hundred percent sure of changes brought by 15 years studies, but if someone does solemnly with all hearts, the positive results for the hard work and dedication are guaranteed, even for an exiled students like us. Though scopes and opportunities were not comparable with free country students due to lack of support however that doesn't mean we can't be something.

Historically, almost every hero, in reality, emerged from the depressed, oppressed and suppressed societies, for instance, the great Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther, and Nelson Mandela. With that perspective, we can even consider our present situation as a huge opportunity for us that no free country people do possess. With education and dedication, nothing is quite impossible.

Q— Unfortunately, many young Tibetans tend to either return back to Tibet or to immigrate towards westerns for seeking better wages which could ultimately lead to the dispersed of strength in Tibet's issue stand. What was the reason behind such activities and what strategies do you suggest to maintain the faith among those youths to remain in the same position?

Ans— I think it's not just about the reason for a better wage, but was more than that. There were adults who never met their families for decades and have suffered from loneliness and emptiness which no one would want to follow their track and hence many youths returned back to Tibet, it was about the reunion with rest of families.

In the case of immigration towards western, most of Tibetans born in India didn't have any enough income for their family which led them to find a better source of finance and so, many people have sent their one of family members to other countries for the above purpose. But I agree with the negative impacts of such activities, the most possible way is to make both types of people content inside the same community which is also a challenging task for the government like Gangchen Kyishong.

Q— One of the major distressful issues among the Tibetans youths in exile was the addition of substances which is always increasing in its trend. What do you think was the cause of such illness in society and how do you think would society can eliminate the ruining of youths in the exile community?

Ans— The reason behind the addiction was simultaneous usage of toxic substances and that continues consumption starts from the mistakes made by one during he/she was not completely aware of the cause and effect of addiction. As I noticed, many of the substance consumers didn't have somebody who could stop them since most of Tibetans like me were distantly far away from our families.

The most ignored and alone one was the most probable to addiction. Though the battle against addiction could be fought only by the addicted person, however society can also make an impact on addicted to quit the consumption of drugs and marijuana via influential pieces of advice and accepting the addicted rather than expulsion. Letting them feel like we are all together rather than letting him/her feel alone or aloof.