By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, December 16: As a token of appreciation for working tirelessly for over four decades for the betterment of Tibetan children, the Global TCV Bylakuppe Alumni Network will honor Ama Jetsun Pema by hosting ‘Amala Appreciation Day’ at TCV in Bylakuppe.
Fondly known as ‘Amala’ by the thousands of Tibetan children who have come through their respective TCVs under her care and guidance. The Alumni will also confer an award ‘Jangchup Choeten’ for her 42 years of service as the President of the TCV schools at the first ever Bylakuppe ex-student and staff reunion.
“We initiated the organization this year with an aim to help the school with the funds we have collected. It was a gesture of giving back to the school. We also agreed to mark the end of the year by conferring the award to Amala,” said Jamyang Dorjee, event coordinator and Sponsorship Secretary of the school.
With the ongoing 30th Mind and Life conference in Sera Monastery and Tenshug (long life prayer) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the same day as the ceremony, Amala, who has agreed to grace the ceremony, suggested it to be held in the afternoon after the Tenshug.
With over 100 have registered including ex-directors and 35 retired staff to attend the ceremony. Jamyang expects over 300 ex students and staff to take part since they have not registered the Alumni and ex staff from the nearby Tibetan settlements in South India.
Retired in August 2006, Ama Jetsun Pema, sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is no stranger to global recognitions for her selfless work in providing education and well being of thousands of Tibetan children. She was honored with UNESCO medal in 1999, World’s Children Prize for the Rights of the Child in 2006 and the 2000 International Montessori Award for Education and Peace.
The Tibetan Parliament in exile awarded her the title ‘Mother of Tibet’ in 1995. She also holds the honor of being the first woman minister (Kalon) in the Central Tibetan Administration or Tibetan government in exile.