Tibetan refugees in Uttar Pradesh keep up struggle for freedom

December 20th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 20 (IANS) Tibetan refugees in Uttar Pradesh have not given up their struggle to free their homeland and are trying to sensitise Indians about the issue, handing out badges inscribed ‘Free Tibet’ and ‘Save Tibet’ along with the woollen clothes they are selling.”Distribution of badges is a part of our non-violent struggle for restoring Tibet’s lost freedom,” Tibetan Refugee Handloom Association (TRHA) president K.D. Tamling told IANS.

“By handing out badges to our customers, in a way, we are sensitising the Indian citizen to Tibetan struggle against China,” he added.

On an average, TRHA members, who come to Lucknow in the winter season every year from different parts of the country to sell woollen clothes, daily manage to distribute nearly 2,000-2,500 badges to customers coming at their stalls in the Charbagh area of the state capital.

‘Save Tibet for world peace’ is what most of the green coloured badges read.

In order to ensure customers do not forget to carry the ‘world peace message’ to their homes, most of the vendors have attached the badges to the woollen clothes.

“It saves a good amount of time spent on handing out badges separately to our customers,” said Yangdon, a woman vendor.

T. Dhondup, a TRHA member, alleged: “Apart from abusing the human rights of the Tibetan people, China has also undertaken a malicious campaign to systematically destroy our distinct culture and national identity.

“So we decided this year to distribute badges to draw attention of the customers towards such issues and also to solicit support from them for the Tibetan cause.”

This year, nearly 50 Tibetan families, hailing from Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and Delhi, have joined the struggle.

There are nearly 50 stalls packed with jackets, pullovers, mufflers, caps and shawls, straight from factories of Ludhiana in Punjab, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and several other places. However, not all their wares are factory-made as a few stalls exhibit hand-knit woollens too.

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