Subsidies and support for monks and nuns
The government of the Tibet autonomous region has placed an emphasis on supporting monasteries and nunneries, according to the Tibetan branch of the Buddhist Association of China.
There are 1,787 monasteries and temples and about 46,000 monks and nuns in the region.
Most monasteries were linked to roads, while nearly 1,460 had water supplies and 833 had electricity.
Monks and nuns receive medical insurance, pensions, low-income allowances and free annual checkups under a series of government measures.
measures such as free health checkups, low-income allowances, pensions and medical insurance are really helpful for monks and nuns,” said Lobsang Sherab, a monk from Sangngak Monastery in Lhasa’s Dagze county.
“A series of preferential policies were introduced in 2011 to benefit monks and nuns,” said Palden Donyo, vice-president of the Tibetan branch of the Buddhist Association of China at the plenary session of the Tibet committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
“These included infrastructure projects, such as linking remote monasteries to nearby towns with roads and providing water and electricity,” he said.
Palden Donyo said that the government not only supported the monasteries materially but also helped to protect cultural relics and established libraries.
“The Sakya Monastery in the region’s Shigaze prefecture was funded with 97 million yuan ($16 million) in 2013,” he said.
“Monks and nuns, within the range of approved posts, each get a subsidy of 5,000 yuan for refurbishing their quarters,” said Losang Gyaltsan, chairman of the regional government in a work report earlier this year.
Palden Donyo said the subsidies for rebuilding monasteries and nunneries was one of his proposals from last year.
This year, he proposed that the monastries of Sakya and Tashilhunpo in the Shigaze prefecture should apply for a place on the World Heritage list.
As many as 84,000 scrolls of ancient writings were discovered in a wall 60 meters long and 10 meters high at the monastery, which was built in 1073 in Sakya county, about 400 km from Lhasa, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
“As part of the government’s efforts, 10 Buddhist colleges were established within the region last year,” Palden Donyo said. Contact the writers at palden_nyima@chinadaily. com.cn and phuntsog-tashi@ chinadaily.com.cn
Earlier this year, Ngagwang Ziji was accredited as the top winner of Geshe Lharampa, the highest academic degree of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.