DHARAMSALA, 2 July: The maiden Tibetan women’s basketball tournament against tuberculosis began today at Gangchen Kyishong Basketball ground here in Dharamsala at the Tibetan Secretariat.
The sporting event titled, ‘1st Tibetan women’s Basketball Tournament against tuberculosis’ is jointly organized by the Health Department of Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan National Sports Association with an objective to raise awareness about tuberculosis in particular and general health at large within the Tibetan community in exile.
The Secretary of the CTA’s Health Department, Palden Dhondup briefly addressed the congregation before the tournament began.
“Though sporting events are generally held across the world to promote political and economic relations between nations, we have organised the tournament with an objective to improve physical and mental wellbeing, the general health within the Tibetan community in exile and to empower Tibetan women,” Palden Dhondup said.
Three teams from Dharamsala, one each from Nepal, Bylakuppee, Clementown and Suja are participating in the tournament.
The inaugural match of the tournament was played between the Clementown team and Bylakuppee team and the final match will be played on 6th July, coinciding with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 84thbirthday.
“It is important to support our women on any platform therefore, we hope this tournament will encourage more women to participate in sports in the future,” the organisers said in their press release.
The tournament has been generously funded by the Dalai Lama’s Charitable trust.
The Gangchen Kyishong Basketball ground serves as the only recreational space for the staff of the Tibetan administration as well as Tibetan sports enthusiasts working in organizations and offices located near the ground.
Nearly one in five Tibetan refugee schoolchildren have tuberculosis infection, against the worldwide estimation of one in 28 children according to findings by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Wisconsin.
An initiative, have Zero TB by 2025 is underway since 2017 completely eradicate TB from the exiled Tibetan community in India.
The initiative is led by researchers from Johns Hopkins schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Business, Education, and Arts & Sciences who have partnered with the Tibetan Delek Hospital and the Tibetan community in India backed by the exile administration.