Tibetan from across border, chaiwala bag gold at MSU

Prashant Rupera, TNN | December 18, 2016

Vadodara: Stories of grit and struggle surfaced during the 65th annual convocation ceremony of MS University on Saturday as a Tibetan student who had crossed Indo-Nepal border in disguise and a Sindhi youth who had worked at a tea stall bagged gold medals at the convocation ceremony here.

If Tserin Norbu, a Tibetan, who had entered India in disguise in 2000, bagged two gold medals after completing his masters in political science from Faculty of Arts; Vijay Nariyani, a Sindhi, who had worked at a tea stall to support his education, bagged one gold medal after completing his bachelors in philosophy from the same faculty.

“Tibetan students don’t get any opportunity to study in China as there is a threat of losing identity, culture, religion and language. The Chinese try to destroy everything. They would imprison any student wishing to cross the border in disguise and make them work on construction sites as labourers,” said Norbu, recollecting the days when he entered Nepal and later crossed the Indo-Nepal border under the disguise of being a ‘Nepali’.

“After reaching India, I felt extremely secure. Thanks to the support of Government of India, I managed to complete my bachelors from Delhi University and now I have bagged gold medal from MSU,” said Norbu, who believes that he will not be able to meet his Tibet-based parents in his life time.

“Government of India treated me as a general student and unlike foreign students, who have to pay higher fees to study at MSU, I paid the same fees as a general Indian student under the Tibetan refugee programme,” he said, adding that after 2008 the Chinese government has started a major crackdown on those trying to cross the border in disguise.

Nariyani, on the other hand, comes from a Sindhi family, in which no one has studied beyond class ten. “When I took admission in Faculty of Arts, everybody from my community discouraged me. But, I continued my struggle,” said Nariyani, who worked at tea stall, seasonal shops of fire crackers, sold kites and colours during Holi to support his education.

“At times, I would earn just Rs 20 a day. But I was determined to excel in my studies,” said Nariyani, who even mops the floor at his house as his mother is suffering from back pain.

He now aims for a double masters in Sindhi language from Ajmer. “Hopefully, I will get another gold medals even in that,” he said.