By Tenzin Sangmo
New Delhi, August 5 - The six Tibetan men who have survived on their strength of character so far see their material loss as a higher gain. Visibly weak on their 9th day without a morsel or drop of water the voice of six million have been elevated by six frail men.
The medical examiner from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital refused to speak to the media or assess the condition of the participants.
Jangchup Sangpo said yesterday, "With God's grace, I have not sensed extreme thirst or hunger so far. We are sacrificing our lives to save the Tibetan race, culture, religion and also for world peace on a larger front. We are capable of resisting our body's demands and can fight the desire to eat and drink. With our endeavor we hope to bring the Tibetan plight to the fore. It is imperative that Tibetans are not disheartened and work together towards attaining our purpose. If we succeed in bringing down the sufferings of those inside Tibet, our job here is done."
Each passing day presents a new threat to the hunger strikers. They are pushing their bodies to the max and physical limitations force them to face the inevitable. Extreme signs of weakness, lethargy, lack of sleep, muscle cramps and possibility of permanent organ damage loom large.
Wangdue Phuntsok, Tenpa Dharge and Tsering are said to be very critical. Shetser Nyima has dangerously low blood pressure. According to Vice President Dhondup Dorjee, "Doctors have been carrying out daily examinations for the last three days and recommended that they be treated…but we refused."
These men tread the thin line between life and death now. Without medical assistance they are bound to wither and die.
Although the hunger strikers have no qualm about forfeiting their lives, it is up to the organizers to choose if they can stand by and watch innocent lives perish.