Dehradun: As part of his official tour of the Tibetan settlements in Dehradun, Sikyong Penpa Tsering paid a visit to the Ngoenga School for Tibetan Children with Special Needs located just a mile from Dekyiling settlement on Wednesday, 1 December.
Shortly after touring the institution, Sikyong addressed the staff and students during which he asserted the essentiality of upgrading the existing facilities and equipment so as to promote the holistic development of the disabled children in the care of CTA’s Health Department.
“In addition to children with physical disabilities, we have children with specific learning disabilities. We must empower them by creating an enabling environment where they feel included in all aspects of the community,” Sikyong said while mentioning some projects in mind that he intends to accomplish in the near future. He mentioned the possible need to research on incorporating Sorig treatment methods to promote the physical and mental well being of the students.
Sikyong also assured the Health Department’s commitment to providing assistance in health care and Human Resources including technical assistance as and when required by the Ngoenga schools.
He noted that there seems to be many Tibetans undergoing psychological and emotional challenges in the Tibetan community. As per the record of the Health Department, he said, there are 300 such cases. “Recently three officials of Joint Secretary rank were sent to the Tibetan settlements in South India to assess the situation. Although I haven’t got the opportunity to read their assessment report thoroughly, I have come to know that there are at least 128 cases of minor psychological and emotional problems in just the five settlements in the south alone. If the total case is 300, it is quite a significant problem,” Sikyong expressed. “Patients who are young and heavily-build are especially difficult to manage physically,” he explained. However, Sikyong clarified that minor psychological problems is different in context from mental problems, and said it should not be treated as the same.
Meanwhile, he implored transparency from the authority and the staff alike about any grievances and challenges they face. In the event of a probable case, Sikyong said that a committee will be set up to review the concerned issue.
In conclusion, Sikyong admitted that he was pleased with the works of the staff involved at the school and commended them for their dedication and commitment.