This January while visiting Norgyeling Tibetan Settlement, Bandara, India, I was acknowledged by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the work I have done for my home village. But as I stood on stage beside His Holiness receiving his blessing before my fellow villagers and many others, I was really representing all of you. If not for your generous support and contributions over the last several years, I would never have been on that stage and conditions in Norgyeling would be far worse. I am deeply grateful to you for all you have done to help improve conditions in my village where 1,200 Tibetan refugees struggle to eke out a living.
Due to your tireless support, the 200 village families now have solar lighting. When the electricity goes out in the village, which it regularly does, students can continue studying and villagers negotiating village paths can find their way in the darkness. Together we have built bedrooms and a kitchen for the village monks and built a stupa in memory of the village’s late spiritual leader Ven. Gurchung Rinpoche. Recently, we laid the groundwork to build a sports complex for the village youth that will give them positive, healthy outlets helping them shun the drug culture they are exposed to.
So it is with tremendous gratitude that I thank you. As His Holiness draped a kata around my shoulders, he asked me to continue helping my people. I am hopeful that you will help me continue the work to make life better for the people of Norgyeling.
The author is owner of Laguna Beach’s Tibetan Handicrafts shop.