By Wasfia Nazreen
Dharamsala: The Gyuto Tantric University, founded in 1474, is the oldest Tibetan University. Near the University of Gyuto Monastery, Sidhibari, Dharamsala- is taking place a massive construction of the Gyuto Tantric Hospital, organisation and realisation of which is in the hands of the ‘Medical Council’ of the University. This proposed hospital will be dedicated to provide completely free medical assistance to the poorest of the poor of North India, regardless of their cultural identity.
Dr. Hedda Blumenroth seen amongst the initial Committee members at a meeting in McleodGanj
A retired German Doctor couple- Hedda and Claus Blumenroth donated the full inventory of their private hospital for this selfless project. More than 5000 parts of these sensitive equipments, disinfected or sterilized had to be packed vibration-free, moisture-resistant and be protected against variation in temperature with extra care to guarantee safe passage. Only subsequent to ensuring such, they traveled 14000 kilometers from the German Rhineland to North India by ship, train and trucks, and finally arrived to Delhi safely in March 2006. This endeavor was entirely ensured by a professional act of logistics and diplomacy of Werner Bartl and his Duisburg-based freight company, that managed the transport quite smoothly and of free of charge. Other than donating these equipments, Dr. Hedda and Dr. Claus have also invested 45,000 pounds of their own money.
Originally the hospital was planned to be set up in Tibet, which eventually failed due to the Chinese bureaucracy. When His Holiness the 17th Karmapa was approached with the idea, he had specifically instructed Dr. Claus and Dr. Hedda Blumenroth to construct the hospital around the Gyuto Tantric University, keeping in view the efficiency of the Gyuto monastery in realizing it and the people around without proper medical care and facility. The building site for the hospital has been bought and the planning office has been built and put in operation. Tibetan monks of the monastery are now supervising the planning and building of the hospital, which they see as a mere act of showing their thankfulness towards the population of India, that grants them exile.
Hospital equipments being unloaded at the Gyuto Monastery
In a letter dated March 13th, 2006 His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa, after commenting on the progress till date, concluded that: “It is my hope that all our friends and related ones will support the Roter Lotus e.V. and extend their financial help for quick completion of this selfless project which will benefit the Gyuto Monastery as well as many needy people.”
In order to finance the hospital building, the registered charity ‘Roter Lotus e.V.’ was founded. 100% of the money generated through this charity goes to the development of this project. The honorary members are hoping to collect the necessary sum of 500000Euros for the hospital. An eight-member managing committee has been formed to oversee the progress of the project, which consists of (in no particular order): Dr. Santotsang Tseten Dorjee (personal physician of His Holiness Dalai Lama), Dawa Phunkye (Member of Tibetan Parliament and present director of Delek Hospital), Ven. Drupon Rinpoche (General Secretary of His Holiness the Karmapa),Ven. Togden Rinpoche (Abbot of Gyuto Tantric University), Ven. Geshe Sonam Pelsang (Vice Abbot of Gyuto Tantric University), Ven. Jamphal Gyaltso (Secretary, Gyuto Health and Education Department), Ven. Dorjee Gonpo (Secretary, Gyuto Health and Education Department) and Ven. Tsultim Tashi (Administrator, Gyuto Tantric University).
Since Tibetans believe this year to be inauspicious for any digging up of Earth for construction purpose, building of the hospital has been postponed till the next Tibetan New Year.
The charity is urgently seeking donors to contribute in any way towards the speedy realisation of this dream.
For further information on this project, visit www.roterlotus.org