By Tenzin Dharpo
Sheila Dikshit. file photo
DHARAMSHALA, July 22: Tibetan leaders His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the President of the exile Tibetan government, officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay have condoled the death of the veteran Congress politician and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who passed away on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The Dalai Lama wrote a letter to her son Sandeep Dikshit saying, “I am sorry to learn about your mother’s passing away. Your mother lived a meaningful life, devoted to the service of others. It was an honour to meet her over the years. She was a close friend of the Tibetan people.”
The head of the Tibetan polity and Central Tibetan Administration President Dr. Sangay wrote, “A stalwart Congress leader, Former Union Minister, Member of Parliament and longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit devoted her entire life to the service of the nation and society. Throughout her 15-year stint as the Chief Minister of Delhi, she made immense contribution to the state and her governance ushered all-round development of the national capital.”
“She was a staunch supporter and long time friend of Tibet and Tibetan people who had deep reverence for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She played a vital role in ensuring the welfare of Tibetans living in India especially Tibetan residents of Delhi,” he further added.
Dixit who served as the CM of Delhi for three terms, the longest serving female CM was cremated on Sunday with full state honors at the Nigam Bodh crematorium in the Indian capital with large number of people and party workers as well as politicians paying their last respects to her. She was 81 years old.
Also present were members of the Tibetan Women’s Association as well as Tibetan residents of Delhi who came to bid farewell to the leader who was instrumental in diverting a flyover that endangered the Tibetan colony at Majnu-ka-tilla in north Delhi. Her intervention, sources say, avoided the demolition of the Tibetan colony.
During her 15 years as CM of Delhi, Dikshit was credited by many to have brought on swift changes in policy for major developments in Delhi and its infrastructure, including the Delhi Metro. She was known notably for her efforts to curb pollution by introducing the CNG usage for public transport in the National Capital Region.