Friday, February 4, 2011

Gurgaon, Jaipur, Tibetan Youth Hostel(Delhi)

We reached Delhi on the 3rd of February around 3 pm and TNT supporters in Delhi met us at the hotel near Connaught Place. As I mentioned earlier in my Blogs, it was amazing to see how dedicated TNT supporters are and whenever the question of why they support TNT came up in our conversations, the answers that I got were that though they don’t know TNT personally but they know how much he has contributed to our cause and they are supporting him as they know that he is the right candidate for the Kalon Tripa.

The Delhi based supporters had organized a meeting with the Tibetan sweater sellers in Gurgaon. Gurgaon has less than 100 Tibetan sweater selling shops and is nearby to one of the biggest malls in India but it seems that we Tibetans have made a niche for ourselves in this business as Tibetans usually do pretty well during the annual winter sweater selling season though it does depend on the weather. This year, almost everyone had done well since winter was colder than usual.

(TNT la at Gurgaon Sweater Market)

The Tibetans in Gurgaon had hired a small hall adjacent to the market and at least one member from each family attended the talks. I think it was a great opportunity for TNT la as well as the Tibetans in Gurgaon to share their thoughts on the Kalon Tripa as well as their livelihoods. When asked a question about TNT la’s thoughts on the sweater selling business, I think almost everyone was amazed at the depth of knowledge TNT la had about it. He spoke about the fact that he knew that Tibetans were thinking about fire insurance but also understood that it was not as easy as it sounds. He spoke about finding a solution using public funds which can be generated by the Tibetan Sweater Sellers and maintained by the Tibetan Government in Exile so that the payouts will not be a hassle.

(TNT la's Talk and Q & A with Tibetans in Gurgaon)

Towards the end of the session, a young Tibetan said a few words in support that he voted for someone else during the preliminary but will be voting for TNT la after he did a lot of research.

After a two hour session, we went back to the hotel as we had to leave early in the morning for Jaipur. We left Delhi for Jaipur at 5 in the morning. It was about a five hour drive to Jaipur.

(Tibetans welcome TNT la to Jaipur)

The Tibetans in Jaipur had arranged for a hotel for TNT la to rest but because of the 5 hour journey which we thought would take about 4 hours, TNT la actually had no time to rest apart from having a cup of tea and we went straight to the Tibetan Market in Jaipur.

(TNT la at Jaipur Tibetan Market)

The head of the Tibetan Sweater Sellers Association introduced TNT la and at the same time spoke about the Jaipur Sweater Market. It was interesting to know that Jaipur is the one of the oldest Tibetan Sweater Market and also at the same time, it is one of largest Markets consisting of more than 200 shops.

It is also very interesting to find out about the rules and regulations followed by the Tibetan Sweater Sellers and how successful this winter business is. She also spoke about how the Tibetan Sweater Sellers take care of one another whenever there is a disaster such as fire.

(TNT la with Tibetans from Jaipur)

TNT la spoke about the importance of the Kalon Tripa Elections and also about the Chitue Elections. He spoke about the need for each one of us to research, analyze and then make up your own decisions so that when we finally vote, we can be proud of who we vote for. He spoke about the fact that when we vote for anyone whether it is for the Kalon Tripa or the Chitue elections, if we have voted after researching thoroughly, we can be proud of the decisions that we have made.

(The kids really wanted a picture with TNT la)

TNT la also spoke about fire insurance and how we can bring it about together and it was appreciated by the Tibetans because of the clarity of this idea and how much it can actually help the Tibetan Sweater Sellers.

The Local Sweater Sellers Association invited TNT la and the support group from Delhi who had accompanied TNT la on this trip for lunch.

After lunch, we had to go back to Delhi as a talk by TNT la was organized at the Tibetan Youth Hostel in Delhi for 8pm. We left Jaipur around 3pm and were hopeful of reaching the youth hostel before 8pm. Unfortunately, due to the heavy traffic on the highway as well as inside Delhi, when we finally reached the Tibetan Youth Hostel, it was 10pm.

Thankfully, Dhargyal la, a TNT supporter from Delhi was able to screen a couple of videos of TNT la made by his supporters and also screen the Talk show produced by Tashi Wangchuk la, Tea with Tethong. These videos gave the students an added insight into TNT la and his achievements.

(TNT la with the Students at Tibetan Youth Hostel, Delhi)

It was great to see that the Tibetans Students were still eagerly waiting for TNT la to arrive. Even after waiting for two hours, there was a barrage of questions for TNT la and the Director had to intervene after an hour of Q & A session as it was getting really late and the students had college the next day. The questions were well-thought out and TNT la answered each and every question straightforward and clearly and spoke his mind without trying to please everyone.

This made me respect him even more. In my opinion, it is lot easier to say what everyone wants to hear but to say what you think is right even though some might not agree with it takes real integrity.

After a really late dinner arranged for TNT la by the Tibetan Youth Hostel, we left for the Hotel in Connaught Place which we reached around 1 am and we only had time for about 3 and half hours of sleep as we had to leave for Rajpur the next morning at 5am.