As the fatalities caused by COVID- 19 is still tackling the world, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is making sure they’re here for Tibetan people across the world during the pandemic.
The CTA founded by Dalai Lama in 1959 when the Tibet national uprising was crushed by the Chinese government. Following that, the CTA was then established to represent the 80,000 Tibetans who followed their leader and sought refuge in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
These refugees have evolved today with a total of approximately 140,000 out of 100,000 residing in India.
The CTA is identified as the Tibetan people’s representative as they look to it as their legitimate ‘government’ like a party.
As the situation with the pandemic is slowly taking a much serious turn in India, with more than 37,000 confirmed cases and rising, Dr.Lobsong Sanjay, head of the CTA has made a statement, on the 30th of April, to the Tibetan people.
He requests the Tibetan communities in India to follow a lockdown like behavior for the next 80 days. Despite India lifting its curfew on the 3rd of May, Dr. Sanjay states that due to India’s “densely packed population,” the risk of being affected and the probability of the virus being transmitted is high.
The lockdown should be followed by all Tibetan schools, monasteries, old age homes, and settlements. Further, people are requested to refrain from traveling to major cities like Delhi as there is a higher risk in major cities. If any Tibetan is expected to go out for urgency, the CTA advice to use strict social distancing rules.
As the founder of the CTA, Dalai Lama, is considered a hero by many Tibetans, with regards to his age and the effects the virus can impose on his health, the people have been strictly advised to not visit the Dharamshala or the CTA until the risks of the virus have been cleared out.
Even though the initial guidelines by the CTA mention an 80-day lockdown, the communities are expected to strictly follow these rules mainly in the month of May.
Head of CTA also mentioned the facilities offered by them to the communities which include helplines to contacts of settlement officers, doctors, nurses, hospital directors.
Dr. Sanjay didn’t fail to address the Tibetan communities abroad in his statement. He provided updates on the recovering Tibetans in Wuhan and further paid respect then gave his condolences to a 90-year-old Tibetan in Vancouver who passed away due to the virus. Dr. Sanjay continued to mention that Tibetan herbal medicine can be obtained by the communities abroad once the postal services will be up and running.
Former prime minister Sonam Topygal expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for taking strict rules and implementing lockdown to slow down the spread of the virus.
Topygal further informed how 43 settlement officers are continuously are updating the CTA regarding the communities and how these officers are educated with regards to hospitals and rules to follow in any case.
The settlement officers have been directed to provide aid for the ‘poor and elderly’ who have faced difficulty during the crisis. Depending on the information received regarding the population of these settlements they will receive funding to help the poor.
Further information is expected to be provided by the CTA in the coming days with regards to the situation.