DHARAMSALA, June 4: The democratically elected political head of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay today announced Kashag’s decision to allocate 30 million Nepalese rupees for providing interim relief measures to Tibetans affected by the recent devastating earthquakes in Nepal.
The decision follows a report submitted to the Kashag by a two-member delegation consisting of Education Kalon, Ngodup Tsering and Secretary Ngodup Dorjee of Finance Department upon their return after visiting the Tibetan settlements to assess the situation of Tibetans in Nepal.
“After the earthquake in Nepal and Tibet, 13 Tibetans have died unfortunately. Along with it, a lot of damages have been caused to many of the buildings in the settlements and in the schools. After Kalon Ngodup Tsering la and Secretary Ngodup Dorjee la visited Nepal and based on their report, and all the reports submitted by the different settlement officers and Office of Tibet in Kathmandu, the Kashag decided to provide additional 3 crore (30 million) rupees for interim relief of the Tibetan people in Nepal,” Sikyong Sangay said at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Tibetan administration.
“Because… with the impending monsoon many experts say that many kinds of diseases, even epidemics, could come to earthquake affected areas. Hence to make sure that Tibetans are taken care of, we are providing compensations to all those 13 Tibetans who have passed away and making sure that schools are run properly and all the settlements, if there is some damages caused to their houses, we can renovate them. And if houses are completely destroyed, there is no way we can reconstruct them now but we are providing them temporary shelters of GI sheets which will provide them space to live for couple of months.”
To support the Tibetan community in Nepal affected by the earthquake, Kashag has been considering three-phase approach- the first phase of immediate rescue and relief which was completed with distribution of 5.6 million Nepalese rupees to the most affected families including ex gratia payments to the deceased. The second phase of Interim Relief is felt necessary due to impending monsoon resulting in outbreak of epidemic diseases and other unforeseen incidents, and the third would be reconstruction phase for major rebuilding efforts of the damaged social and economic facilities.
In any king of major earthquakes, the first phase is always the rescue phase, the second phase is where you have relief phase and the third phase is reconstruction. So we have addressed the emergency relief phase. Now, we are entering into the Interim Relief and reconstruction will take place in three-six months time. As per the funding we can generate, we’ll also do the best we can in the reconstruction phase. We have already sanctioned 16 lakhs first and the disaster committee also distributed 40 lakhs quite recently. And this is the second phase that we are entering into,” Sikyong said.
Sikyong Sangay also applauded the relief efforts put in by the monks, nuns and lay Tibetans in helping the victims. He said it also demonstrates the impact of His Holiness Dalai Lama’s guidance and impact on Tibetan people and also that the Tibetans are capable of standing on their own feet and extend help to people of Nepal.
“And I would also like to acknowledge and applaud the contribution made by mainly monks and nuns and Tibetan people who led the efforts to help many of the earthquake victims in remote areas of Tibet. I think what it showed was inherent Tibetan kindness and gratitude towards the people of Nepal as per the guidance and advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I would also like to urge Tibetans to face the tragedy with resilience and perseverance. As a country we have suffered bigger tragedies and this is one more tragic phase in their lives and…of course we will pray for them and wish them all the best and we’ll do the best to provide them relief. Also to demonstrate our gratitude towards the Nepalese people through major relief efforts led by monks and nuns mainly and also by lay Tibetans is a message to the general public that despite the sufferings we are undergoing, Tibetans are capable of standing on their own feet and extend what we can to our brothers and sisters in Nepal,” Sikyong Sangay further said.
The Kashag has decided to allocate the remaining amount of 30 million Nepalese rupees for providing interim relief measures as given below:
1) Ex gratia payment of NPR 2 Lac for each member of a family who has died in the earthquake, with a total allocation of NPR 26,00,00.
2) An additional allowance of NPR 3000 per person for six months for those categorised as Below Poverty Line (Nyamthak), with a totyal allocation of NPR 25,02,000.
3) Temporary shelter of GI sheets for those whose houses have been destroyed, with a total allocation of NPR 14,80,000.
4) Renovation of minor damages to homes, offices, and community buildings as per the list provided by the settlement officers and assessed by the two-member Kashag’s delegation. Total amount allocated 46,00,000.
5) Special ex gratia payments to Bakhang and Thupten Choeling nunneries with a total allocation of NPR 30,00,000
6) Renovation of Schools Buildings: Namgyal High School; Namgyal Middle School; Songtsen High School; Atisha School; Lekshed Tsal; Mt. Kailash School and Shar Khumbu School; and for arranging temporary classrooms with a total allocation of NRs. 87,00,000/-
7) A total of NPR 25,50,000 has been provided for health care including medicines, and sanitation as per the list with a total allocation of NPR 25,50,000.
8) NPR 45,68,000 has been allocated for administration and contingency including logistics.
Sikyong Sangay was accompanied by DIIR Secretary Tashi Phuntsok, Education Kalon Ngodup Tsering and Finance Department Secretary Ngodup Dorjee at the press conference.