"Often I feel discouraged seeing today's youth. But sometimes they do surprise us with such knowledge, courage and love for one's country. So it is difficult to pass any judgment on them" says Tendar, a 78-year-old freedom Marcher from Hunsur, Rabgayling Settlement, Mysore. Pa Tenzin, the 82-year-old Marcher from Bylakuppe settlement, further added, "this Freedom March has cleared all my doubts and apprehensions regarding our youngsters. I am relieved to find such dedicated and well- informed young Tibetans through this March. I believe our future is in safe hands."
The duo, who were speaking in the evening interactive session, further briefed the marchers on early exile life, specially the formative years of Tibetan settlements, the sufferings and the pain the older generation had endured and the perceptible change in today's Tibetan community.
Next morning i.e. on 4th of March the Freedom March left Karnal by the dawn and traveled over 30kms arriving at Tibetan Woolen Yarn Centre at Panipat around 2 p.m. in the afternoon. The Marchers were warmly received by the staff offering greetings, Khatak and light refreshment. The Tibetan Woolen Yarn Centre also hosted a lunch and dinner for the Marchers.
The interactive session was addressed by young Tibetans born and brought up in India including Sonam Dorjee a student from Punjab University, Chandigarh, Tenzin Dhondup a student from Institute of Tibetan Higher Studies, Sarah, Dharamsala, and Yeshi Tenzin, a school drop out, working as a tourist guide. Their talk dwelled on personal experiences, their ideology and views on Tibetan issues etc. In their talk, the trio complained of sheer lack of political education in schools. The session proved to be a lively one with much revelation.
Later in the evening, a two-member delegation of Kathmandu based Nyelam Assocaition arrived from New Delhi to felicitate the Freedom Marchers by offering Khatak and a donation. In his speech the President of Nyelam Association, besides offering appreciation to the marchers, assured the Association's continuous support for such campaigns.
On the morning of 5th March the March left Tibetan Woolen Yarn Centre and staged a procession around the main markets of Panipat coupled with intensive slogan raising and distribution of leaflets and posters. Public gatherings were also addressed by Mr. Lobsang Yeshi and Ms. Dolma Choephel, who spoke on the Tibetan Issue, Indo-Tibetan relation and China's anti India policy and campaigns etc.
Meanwhile, the March surged forward undaunted in the scorching sun for over 6 hours and camped for the night at a Hindu temple in Samalkha town. The evening interactive session was addressed by young Tibetans who had arrived from Tibet in the recent past. The speakers were Chonjor, Norden and Dhondup Lhadar - students from Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah, Dharamsala. The students spoke on their personal lives, their outlook on exile community and their views on freedom struggle.
On 6th March, the Freedom Marchers left around 5.30 a.m. and traveled over 27 kms camping for the night at Murthal a town 48 kms from Delhi. The evening session was addressed by former soldiers of Special Frontier Force, Tibetan army in Indian Defence Force. The speakers Mr. Choegyal from Gangtok, Mr. Tashi Dhondup from Shimla and Mr. Appe from Kollegal Tibetan Settlement, who were also war veterans, vividly shared their experiences of army life, tales of battle, (especially 1971 Operation Bangladesh) their services, sacrifices and commitment for the Tibetan cause etc.