A Tibetan youth serves food to the homeless in Los Angeles
DHARAMSHALA, June 19: A group of young Tibetans in Los Angeles came up with a ‘meritorious’ idea of observing the Tibetan Buddhist holy month of Saka Dawa as well as ‘Father’s Day’ by serving up food to the homeless in the second most populous city in the United States.
The group of seven young Tibetans decided to serve homemade food to the homeless in the infamous 50 block area of downtown Los Angeles, considered of having the largest concentration of transient people in the US.
Surveys have shown that the area, also known as Skid Row, is home to over 4000 homeless people.
Kunchok Dolma, a resident of Los Angeles, and pharmacy student at California Northstate University, Sacramento spread the word on facebook and her friends joined in to lend a helping hand.
The young Tibetans felt that it was befitting to visit the area on ‘Father's Day,’ this past Sunday, since the majority of homeless individuals are adult males.
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often visited homeless shelters on his visits to the US, calling attention to the plight of the nation's poor and the increasing gap between the rich and the deprived. In May 2009, during one of his tours, the Dalai Lama had also served food and broke bread with the homeless at a San Francisco Soup Kitchen.
Saka Dawa, the fourth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar marks the birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana of Lord Buddha and is considered the “month of merits” for performing virtuous deeds.
Last month, Chinese officials in Tibet issued strict warnings, banning Tibetan government officials and students from participating in religious activities during Saka Dawa.
The official decree
stated that participation in religious activities and rituals by Party members, cadres, and students amounts to “serious violations of political discipline and stability work” and severe punishment will be meted out accordingly.