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Flash floods and heavy rainfall in Leh, Dalai Lama’s teachings postponed for a day

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Cloud burst triggers flash floods in Ladakh on July 21, 2023 (Photo/Kashmir Reader)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, July 23: On the night of July 21, the upper Leh area experienced heavy rainfall, triggering flash floods in the region. Due to the flash flood’s aftermath, the Dalai Lama’s 2nd day of teachings was postponed to the next day. Among the hardest-hit areas was the Lamdon school vicinity, where the floods caused extensive damage to properties and infrastructure. The Leh market also suffered from the deluge, further disrupting daily life.

The torrential waters and debris left many houses and buildings damaged, disrupting the lives of the residents. The Leh market, which is the bustling heart of the region, was also affected, leading to further challenges for the people as they grappled with the deluge’s aftermath.

The floods caused debris to accumulate on the roads connecting Leh and Nubra Valley, cutting off crucial transportation routes and isolating the affected regions. This isolation compounded the difficulties in reaching the venue of the Dalai Lama’s teachings, making it impossible for attendees to traverse the blocked paths.

To address the situation, the local authorities, including the police and the army, swiftly swung into action. Alongside their efforts, the resilient local residents joined hands to clear the roads and restore damaged houses. No loss of lives was reported. The collective efforts aimed to facilitate relief and assistance to those in need, showcasing the spirit of unity and determination in the face of adversity.

Speaking to Phayul, Dhundup Tashi, Tibetan welfare officer of Ladakh said The Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) and the Ladakh Gompa Association’s(LGA) presidents jointly approached the Ganden Phodang, requesting the postponement of the 2nd day of teachings. Acknowledging the closure of roads and the impossibility of many attendees reaching the venue, the decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

The first day of the teachings at Shewatsel Teaching Ground witnessed an overwhelming turnout of an estimated 45,000 people. During this session, His Holiness emphasized the vital importance of inter-religious harmony and understanding in Ladakh, where various religious communities coexist peacefully. He urged the people to forge strong bonds by coming together and embracing each other’s differences, fostering a sense of oneness and compassion.

Delving into the ‘Thirty-seven Practices of All Bodhisattvas’ by Gyalsé Thogmé Sangpo, His Holiness highlighted the significance of cultivating altruistic awakening minds (bodhicitta) and the Way of the Bodhisattva. He underscored that humanity must transcend conflicts by reducing negative emotions like anger and hatred while promoting love and compassion to achieve world peace.

The local authorities, communities, and organizations continue to support those affected, working tirelessly to restore normalcy to the beautiful land of Leh. As the region heals and rebuilds, the message of compassion and understanding delivered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama resonates deeply, reminding the people of the inherent strength they possess in coming together to face any adversity.

The first day of the teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Leh, Ladakh on July 21, 2023 (Photo/OHHDL)

The second day of the teaching was held despite cloudy and light rain on Sunday morning at Shiwatsel Phodrang comping in Leh where thousands of devotees attended for the Avalokiteshvara empowerment.

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