Dharamsala, August 4 - When the world began the year with all sorts of celebrations Friends of Tibet, India, marked it with the launch of their boycott campaign against the use, purchase and sale of Chinese goods.
A drive called 'Boycott Made in China' was started on January 1, 2003. This is in coordination with the international boycott movement started last year. Friends of Tibet, India, is the primary organisation in India having its programmes focussed on the campaign.
Talking to tibet.net, Tenzin Tsundue, an activist with the Friends of Tibet, said theirs was a campaign which is not confined to only boycotting Chinese goods per se but to generate public awareness and participation in the Tibetan cause.
"We want to reach out to the masses for their support and this campaign is a way by which we hope to make people know about our cause and become aware of it", he said.
Since the launch of the programme, the organisation has been involved in educating the masses about the boycott campaign and issues surrounding it. The members have travelled to many Tibetan communities to give talks on political issues of Tibet.
The members began their first round of going to shops June 1 to appeal to them to desist buying and selling Chinese goods. Till date, the organisation claims, 164 shops owned by Tibetans have extended their support to the campaign by participating in a signature campaign and putting stickers saying they don't sell Chinese products.
In a press release issued recently, the organisation said they are trying to bring seriousness to the Tibetan struggle. If the press release is anything to go by, the campaign seems to have satisfied the organisers with the responses they got from Dharamsala public.
"This is an encouraging result after months of campaign and hard work". The campaign now would like to target organisations, institutions, and associations. The campaign also has aims to approach the Central Tibetan Administration which in the past has sent circulars, passed resolutions and asked for public support.
Friends of Tibet coordinates with other organisations and individuals to take up similar campaigns from within various Tibetan refugee settlements. Its regional branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Cochin, Pune, Mumbai, Baroda and Delhi act as its ambassadors for the Indian community which pays the price of invasion of cheap and low quality products.