Kalimpong: The foothill of North Bengal and trade route between India and Tibet – Kalimpong, a geo-political significance in Indo-Tibet relations witnessed a gathering of distinguished senior members of India Tibet Friendship Society’s chapter in the region on Sunday, 6th Feb. 2022. The program was aimed to felicitate senior members of ITFS Kalimpong including Sh. P. T. Bhutia, President; Sh. O. B. Dass, Vice President; and Sh. Tsewang Paljor, former Joint Secretary, whereas it was also an initiative to involve fresh participation especially from the younger generation that can carry forward the unfinished task of assuring meaningful settlement of the Tibetan cause.
Surprisingly being scheduled and assigned as Master of Ceremony of the program to Ms. Kesang, Office Secretary, Tibetan Settlement Office, Kalimpong; Sh. Tsewang Paljor extended the honor by discharging the same. He welcomed all the dignitaries, guests and members at the event followed by offering of butter lamp and a minute of silence for those martyrs who laid down their lives for the Tibetan cause.
Addressing the event, ITCO Coordinator Mr. Jigmey Tsultrim who took part solely in the program from Delhi, underlined the importance of the perseverance of this organisation. He reminded the participants with his memory of being a participant during the event of Satyagraha Yatra being organised under the leadership of late Sushri Nirmala Deshpande in the year 1998 at Kalimpong. He shared aims and objectives of ITCO and the functionalities of ITSGs that are spearheading the cause of Tibet in different facets of India. While touching upon the subject, he also agrees with this viewpoint that there have also been decline of programs and events due to infinite reasons apart. It is therefore, he stressed that this event is being scheduled to share how and what forced these senior members to dedicate themselves for this cause and how it can be furthered by coming generations.
Sh. Dhondup Sangpo, TSO Kalimpong in his address touched upon his outreach, experience and areas of joint effort in amplifying the cause of Tibet. He requested to share and submit any form of doubt, suggestion and thoughts that can be helpful for giving more strength in keeping the flame of Tibbat Mukti Sadhana. He also presented the day to day worsening situation happening inside Tibet.
Sh. Tenzin Pelbar, Member, Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch (BTSM), Gangtok and also President of RTYC, Gangtok made the submission of both Sh. Pema Wangda Bhutia, Regional Convener, CGTC-I and Prof. Rudra Paudiyal, President, BTSM Sikkim – their inability to participate in the program. Whereas he also expressed the gratitude for being invited at the event to learn about the challenges and aspirations that were faced by former distinguished members.
Before Sh. P. T. Bhutia was requested to address, he was felicitated with a shawl and souvenir of recent publications on Tibet being honoured by Sh. Sonam Lhundup Lama, former Regional Convener, CGTC-I. Sh. O. B. Dass as he also couldn’t able to make it, a representative on his behalf received the same.
Sh. P. T. Bhutia reminiscences his energy and enthusiasm that has engulfed him to take the course on Tibbat Mukti Sadhana. He laid down the significance of bond that has ever since engraved more deep between India and Tibet. Whereas he admitted that he still wish to play the role of torchbearer in this cause but he thinks that this role must now to pass on upon the shoulder of younger generations with able replacements.
Sh. Sonam Lhundup Lama, being the Special Guest at the event, made it very clear that in this cause one can retire but never can expire. He urged that new members must enroll themselves giving more energy and fuel for the movement whereas the seniors and former executives must also never hesitate in giving and sharing their valuable inputs in planning and executing more effective programs that attracts the world attention upon the cry of innocent Tibetans who are falling apart being the victim of Chinese Communist policy.
Sh. Tsewang Paljor shared about his experience and learning from the association with this cause and his call of inner soul to serve under the grace of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He strongly urged the participants to step ahead and be the part of this course to reach the other shore of history. Before he presented the vote of thanks, around 20 minutes discussion upon the ways and means to strengthen the existing ITFS chapter in Kalimpong was carried out. The points that have come forward during the discussion shall be dealt in the future course of action under the coordination of TSO Kalimpong.
The discussion was then followed by a Tibetan Cultural presentation of Nangma Toeshey from Gangjong Doeghar Tibetan Performing Arts, Kalimpong. While following the Covid-19 protocol, more than 100 participants including Shri Lobsang Tamang, Gen Secretary ITFS Kalimpong, Chairman, LTA Kalimpong, Sh. Nyima Wangdue, former Kusung to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Col (Retd) Rinchen Dadul, Members of ITFS Kalimpong, BTSM, RTYC, RTWA, Mentsekhang, Monasteries, Cholka Sum, RTFM and Bhutia Welfare Association from Kalimpong joined the event that began at 11:00 am and concluded at 13:30 pm.
-Report filed by ITCO Delhi