Dharamsala, Feb 5 (IANS) A Right to Information (RTI) plea has revealed how Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama uses donations – with at least Rs.1 crore going towards setting up a hospital in Himachal Pradesh.
Information gathered by RTI activist Lawan Thakur of Mandi town Friday showed that the Dalai Lama has donated Rs.1 crore to a trust setting up a multi-speciality medical college and research institute in Palampur town, some 40 km from his official palace here.
Apart from his own contribution, the Dalai Lama’s appeal to his followers here and abroad resulted in further donations of over Rs.1.5 crore to the trust, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party vice president and former chief minister Shanta Kumar.
According to information obtained by Thakur, the spiritual leader donated Rs.50 lakh twice — on Jan 9, 2003 and Nov 29, 2003 — to the Vivekananda Medical and Research Trust.
On the appeal of the Dalai Lama, four people settled in New York donated around Rs.1 crore on a single day to the trust.
Thakur told IANS that G.V. Hurag, Le Ce Yuan, Moon Chung Wang and Harish Wey sent the money Nov 2, 2002. “However, the origin of the donors has not been revealed in the RTI response,” he added.
Similarly, US residents Muriyar Clans contributed Rs.1.2 million Nov 2, 2002, Kajooey Rawey Rs.480,000 Dec 10, 2003, and Lagi Hey Rs.226,900 Jan 12, 2004 to the trust.
Dharamsala-based Tibetan NGO Ko Tibetan Religion donated Rs.39,76,870 Sep 16, 2004.
Shanta Kumar said: “Some of the donations were received from abroad by the trust on the appeal of the Dalai Lama to his followers.”
The foundation stone of the multi-crore Vivekananda Medical College and Research Institute was laid in 1992 and it’s likely to be completed in the next three years.
Thubten Samphel, secretary of the department of information and international relations of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), told IANS: “The Dalai Lama does a lot. He donates liberally to universities for studies on world peace, compassion, non-violence and promoting human values. He donates in India a lot, and abroad too.”
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Communist rule in 1959. His Tibetan government-in-exile is based at McLeodganj, near this Himachal town.
It is not recognised by any government. Over 94,000 Tibetans live in India today.