DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school began its 56th founding anniversary celebrations today at a ceremony held at Upper TCV school, Dharamshala.
The first of three day celebration was graced by His Eminence Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the chief guest. Other distinguished guests of the occasion were the Kalon of Department of Religion and Culture Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, as Officiating Sikyong, Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, members of the Kashag, Secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration, representatives of various NGOs, TCV 20 Years Service Award Recipients, TCV Alumni class of 1991 Batch and long time supporters and donors of TCV.
More than a thousand Tibetans gathered at the school to witness the opening ceremony. The three-day celebration includes athletics meet, art exhibitions, debates and cultural shows.
The theme of this year’s celebration has been dedicated to the ‘Unity of the three provinces of Tibet’ and reinforcement of Tibetan values and culture based on the unity.
In his inaugural speech, His Eminence Gyalwang Karmapa Rinpoche asserted strong concern on endurance of Tibetan identity and cultural nourishment of young Tibetan children. “Inevitably the most important duty of each Tibetan, in the face of the ever changing time and events, is to be mindful that one’s action contribute in ensuring the survival of Tibetan identity and dignity, and not otherwise. Secondly, the school administrators, teachers and parents as the guardians of Tibetan culture, must assert the traditional Tibetan knowledge and values to the young and new generations of Tibet.”
His Eminence advised the young students to imbibe the ethical, traditional and cultural values advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to remember the old generation of Tibetans whose sacrifices and hard work has preserved the true essence of the Tibetan movement.
Officiating Sikyong, Kalon Ven Karma Gelek emphasised Central Tibetan Administration’s steadfast commitment to promote unity and to tackle trivial social frictions that undermine the unity and integrity of the six million Tibetans. “It is undeniably the lifeline of the Tibetan movement. Unity is required by all units that constitute our society, which includes the educational institutions, cultural and religious centres and all organisations. The Tibetan movement can only be driven with the collective thoughts and actions of all of us, and its imperative that we do away with our personal and regional biases to move forward.”
Calling to mind the concerns expressed by His Holiness on degeneration of moral ethics within the Tibetan community, Kalon said, “In order to secure the value system of our society requires us to make changes at all levels of our society. We could start by making time in our schools’ curriculum and through school activities to teach our children the proper understanding of right and wrong through a moral yardstick.” Kalon urged special attention of Tibetan teachers and school administrators on the moral well being of the new generation.
Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok noted the successful implementation of the Basic Education Policy in the Tibetan school and lauded the efforts of the teachers and administrators in generating an environment that is effectively conducive for learning the traditional education as well as the modern.
Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, in his address, paid respect and gratitude to the late Mrs Tsering Dolma Takla, Ama Jestun Pema and all the former and current members of TCV for their tireless efforts in educating thousands of Tibetan children since its inception in 1960.
The newly elected President of TCV Mr Thupten Dorjee thanked the distinguished guests for gracing the occasion while reflecting on the TCV’s mission and commitment to bring quality education to the Tibetan youth so that they can confidently meet the global challenges of the 21st century.
The celebration was marked with students contingent march pass, cultural performances and calisthenics display. The inter-house athletics meet will be held tomorrow followed by a TCV alumni of 1991 batch gathering on the third day.
TCV is the largest residential school of the exiled Tibetan community. It was founded in 1960 as a nursery with 51 children. TCV has become an integrated educational community for Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet each year. With established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in the South, TCV has over 15,000 children under its care. It is a registered, nonprofit charitable organisation with headquarter based at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, North India.