Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Mon 26, Feb 2018 08:46 AM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
China censoring information on Jokhang fire raises concern over the extent of damage
Tibetan singer Shawo Tashi released after serving 5 years in prison
Tibetans holding valid passports and visas denied entry in China
Repression severe in Tibetan populated areas: Amnesty International report
UN experts call for Tashi Wangchuk’s immediate release, condemn criminalization of linguistic right advocacy
China ramping up air force on Tibetan plateau, fighter jets conduct exercise
Dalai Lama congratulates new SA Prez Ramaphosa
Universality of human rights under threat: Golog Jigme at Geneva Summit
Tibet issue is simply about truth and justice: former Tibetan PM
Former political prisoner sentenced to three years for ‘inciting separatism’
 Latest Photo News
His Holiness the Dalai Lama looks at a picture of his former home, the Potala palace, in Drepung Monastery, Dec 14, 2017, Phayul Photo/Geleck Palsang
Tibetans participate in a candle light vigil to mourn the passing away of Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo in China, TCV Day School, July 14, 2017 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaves for Gaggal airport, June 11, 2017. The Tibetan leader is scheduled to give a public talk on "Embracing the Beauty of Diversity in our World" at the University of California San Diego on June 16, 2017. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
more photos »
Advertisement
Young lawyer aids exile Tibetans with his language and legal skills
The Christian Science Monitor[Wednesday, September 07, 2011 09:11]
By Amy Yee/The Christian Science Monitor

In this northern Indian hill town, a steady stream of Tibetans enters a small, windowless office in search of legal advice. Red-robed monks, the elderly, parents with children, and young couples all seat themselves in plastic chairs across from Vinayak Sharma.

Vinayak Sharma sits at his desk in his legal clinic office in Dharamsala, India, home to 12,000 Tibetans in exile. He grew up in the city and attended Tibetan-language schools by choice until the 10th grade. Today he considers it a major achievement to have earned the trust of the Tibetan community. (Photo/Amy Yee)
Vinayak Sharma sits at his desk in his legal clinic office in Dharamsala, India, home to 12,000 Tibetans in exile. He grew up in the city and attended Tibetan-language schools by choice until the 10th grade. Today he considers it a major achievement to have earned the trust of the Tibetan community. (Photo/Amy Yee)
The slender, serious young Indian lawyer, who is wearing a pressed shirt and silver glasses, is the only Indian lawyer who speaks (and writes) fluent Tibetan in Dharamsala, the home in exile of about 12,000 Tibetans and the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Sharma estimates he has helped at least 1,000 Tibetan exiles since he started his one-man nonprofit Tibet Legal Aid office in 2008. It opens weekdays at 4 p.m. after he finishes his day job as a lawyer at the main Indian district court here.

Tibetans seek out Sharma based on word of mouth. They are comfortable with him because he grew up among them. From ages 3 to 16 Sharma attended Tibetan schools here, along with thousands of Tibetan children in exile.

"Because [of] spending so much time with these people, I can well understand their problems and financial condition," says the soft-spoken lawyer. He graduated from Dharamsala Law College in 2005.

Sharma speaks four languages – Tibetan, English, Pahari (a regional language), and Hindi. Some Tibetan refugees say Sharma's Tibetan is better than theirs, since many of them went to schools in Tibet that taught in Chinese.

Sharma offers consultations free of charge. Students and low-income Tibetans receive all his services pro bono. He earns a few hundred dollars a month from his day job, while fees from Tibet Legal Aid mainly cover the administrative costs of his office.

"Whatever little I earn from one hand goes to helping other people," he says.

His services are especially important because Tibetans here lack legal aid. There is a "big misunderstanding" among Indians that Tibetans are receiving donations from foreigners and are well off, Sharma says.

"Reality is totally different," he says. "Their incomes are very limited."

One spring afternoon, Lobsang Khedup, a crimson-robed monk, accompanied an elderly Tibetan woman and her young grandson to Sharma's office seeking advice on how to obtain a residence card for the boy. The boy's mother had returned to Tibet and his father had died four years ago; his grandmother was now his guardian.

None of the Tibetans spoke English or any Indian languages.

"It would be difficult without his help," said Mr. Khedup after consulting with Sharma. Without Sharma's services, they would have faced linguistic, financial, and cultural barriers. They would have had to find an interpreter to accompany them to an Indian lawyer and try to explain their complex situation.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
thanks vinayak (tdhun)
INSPIRING ! (Gangchenpa)
info (sokchop)
True sense of humanity! (Tseta)
Thank You Advocate Vinayak Ji for your kind service to tibetan community (Pasangnorbu)
Thank You! (tenzin001)
Thank you (Sumtsul)
Your Comments

 More..
Final Homage to the Sakya Dagchen, Cremation Ceremony to be held soon
BSNL to provide wi-fi facility in Mahabodhi temple premises
Book on Ngari by former MP launched
Dhondup wins Mr. Tibet Toronto 2015
TIPA conclude successful maiden trip to South Korea
Bylakuppe TCV Alumni to honor and celebrate Ama Jetsun Pema’s life
TNSA to livestream GCM football tournament 2016
Tibetans observe Zamling Chisang
4th GBM of Tibetan People’s Movement for Middle Way begins
Bangalore TYC holds 'Gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama' Day
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement