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Tibetans pray for the Dalai Lama

- 40 families light diyas, chant hymns to pay respect to spiritual leader

As many as 40 families of Tibetan origin, who are in Dhanbad to trade in woollen garments, organised prayers on Tuesday to commemorate International Human Rights Day and awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The rituals, which were organised at the woollen market at Kohinoor grounds and also on Railway Station road, began at around 8am with the Tibetans lighting diyas and chanting hymns in praise of the Dalai Lama. The prayers continued till 9.30am after which sweets and chocolates were distributed among children.

Among the 40 families, 25 have set shops at Kohinoor grounds and the remaining on Railway Station road. While the former hail from Mysore in Karnataka, the 15 families on Railway Station road are from various parts of the same state and Himachal Pradesh.

Vice-president of Tibetan Refugee Sweater Sellers’ Welfare Association, Railway Station road, Phuntsor said they commemorated the day as a tribute to the Dalai Lama’s peace efforts.

“The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel on December 10, 1989, for his tireless peace endeavours. On this day, we pray for the health of our leader, who has been fighting for the rights of Tibetans all his life,” he added.

Phuntsor further said that on December 10 every year, the small Tibetan community lit 108 diyas, symbolising the 108 beads in their prayer mala.

The diverse socio-economic backgrounds of the Tibetans attending the prayer meet were no less interesting.

Karnataka-based Tenzong (50) is a retired Indian Army soldier, who claims to have fought in the Kargil War. “I joined my family in the woollen garment business after retiring,” he said.

Jyurme (40) from Mysore sells woollens for four months and goes back to farming for the rest of the year.

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