By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, May 15: The exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration on Thursday announced it has allotted a sum of 3.3 crore (33 million) rupees for what it called ‘COVID-19 programs’ that will benefit Tibetan communities in India and Nepal.
The President of the CTA Dr. Lobsang Sangay during a live cast said that the funding has been procured from the United States Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), a long-term donor of the Tibetan refugee community in South Asia.
His aide Kaydor Aukatsang, Chief Resilience Officer and Director of SARD, an organisation within the CTA that handles profiles related to mobilizing resources and supporting development efforts of exile Tibetans in the sub-continent said, “We are grateful to PRM for making the emergency funding available. While the pandemic poses a huge health risk, it has also placed some of the most vulnerable Tibetans – elders and destitute – at great risk. The CTA leadership has through this package taken care of the immediate healthcare needs and also provided protection to our most vulnerable.”
Activities in India has been allotted more than 2 crore rupees while activities in Nepal has been allotted more than 1 crore rupees. Bhutan where there are few Tibetan settlements was not mentioned in regards to the particular fund.
The funds will be used to hire additional healthcare workers on a temporary basis and procuring medical supplies for Covid-specific facilities and quarantine centres. Also, elderlies who are under the care of CTA, destitute and underprivileged students will be provided food rations and stipends, the President announced yesterday.
The Finance wing of the CTA also announced that Tibetan sweater sellers in ‘Green zone’ will be provided zero-interest loan scheme, although the Finance Minister Karma Yeshi cautioned Tibetan Business community in prioritising safety over finance during the pandemic.Tibetan sweater sellers go to business during the winter when the cold sets in the Indian plains.
India’s nationwide lockdown has helped considerably in flattening the curve of the pandemic so far although the lax on restrictions is threatening rise in cases in the country of 1.3 billion people. As of Friday, the number of infected crossed the 80 thousand mark while the death toll stood at 2,649.