By Tenzin Dharpo
Tashi Choephel (2nd from right) with the other winners of Uber's pilanthropic program. Photo- Uber
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 3: Global taxi service provider Uber has given a Tibetan immigrant working as an Uber driver 7000 USD to be donated for the renovation of the community center for local Tibetans living in the city of New York.
Tashi Choephel who belonged to a nomadic family in Tibet, was gifted the sum after he applied for it under Uber’s new philanthropic program, “Project Jumpstart”. Choephel is among the first batch of winners for the program that enables Uber employees to bring about change in their communities.
The donation from Uber will be used to renovate a community center in Woodside, New York that is the focal point for Tibetan immigrants and American-Tibetans during cultural and religious gatherings. The community center was bought for $4.1 million in 2012 but renovation works have been stalled due to lack of funds.
“When I first came here I was away from home and then I came across this organization,” he said about the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey. “Through this organization’s platform I was able to meet more Tibetans and practice my own language, culture, tradition and my Buddhism. It’s a very important organization for me,” Choephel told QNS news.
35 year old Tibetan immigrant also said, “I moved to Nepal for education and for freedom because Tibet doesn’t have much freedom under the current administration (China). I felt very happy and very excited and very grateful to Uber that I was able to provide this fund through them”.
New York City has one of the largest concentrations of Tibetans living in the United States. According to the Office of Tibet, New York’s last census, over 9000 Tibetans call the metropolitan city their home.