Dec 29, 2011

Tibet: Indian Social Worker Receives Price For Promoting Tibetan Cause

Aasha Reddy received the price at the 6th annual Tibetan College Students Conference, with participants from India and Nepal. The move underlines the support for Tibetans in the region.

The following article was published by


DHARAMSHALA, December 26: An Indian social worker, fondly known as Aunty Aasha Reddy in the exile Tibetan community, was honoured with the inaugural ‘Pawo Thupten Ngodup Award’ at the 6th Tibetan College Students Conference for her “valuable and selfless contribution towards Tibet’s freedom struggle” today.

"Named after Pawo Thupten Ngodup, who self immolated in 1998 during a hunger strike in Delhi in 1998 for the cause of a free Tibet, we are giving this inaugural award to Aunty Aasha Reddy in recognition of her timeless help to the Tibetan students in South India and for her dedication towards the Tibetan freedom struggle," said the organisers of the conference being held in the south Indian city of Bangalore.

Honourable Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs of the Indian state Karnataka, S. Suresh Kumar inaugurated the three-day conference. Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, the minister for the Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration and Tashi Phuntsok, the Chief Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in South India were also present.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Law Minister for Karnataka state, which hosts the largest number of Tibetans in India, assured the Tibetans of his party’s continued support.

"My party (Bharatiya Janata Party) has been very committed to the Tibetan cause and Tibetans in the state (Karnataka) can always come to me for any help," said the Minister.

Kalon Dicki Chhoyang urged Tibetan college students to act as Tibetan ambassadors and initiate grass root level negotiations with Chinese students in their respective colleges across India and beyond.

"Every Tibetan must take the responsibility to build networks for a better negotiation between the Central Tibetan Administration and the Chinese government," said Chhoyang.

Conference coordinator Youngdung Tenzin told Phayul that the conference is themed around the recent wave of self-immolations inside Tibet, which has witnessed 12 Tibetans since March this year [2011] set their bodies on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Over 68 students from India and Nepal are participating in the sixth edition of the student’s annual conference, which is scheduled to host talks by resource persons, panel discussions, and debates.

"The primary goal of holding such a meeting every year is to bring together Tibetan college students scattered across India, disconnected from one another. These meetings are characterised with ‘Self-realisation and self-responsibility’ as guiding principles to the student participants in understanding their role in the Tibetan freedom movement,” said the organisers.