‘We thank the gov­ern­ment’

HT Estates - - Front Page -

Iwas born here in New Aruna Na­gar in 1968. This area was ini­tially called Samyel­ing by his ho­li­ness the Dalai Lama. Now the Delhi gov­ern­ment has re­named it as New Aruna Na­gar. In 1959, my par­ents fled Ti­bet when China oc­cu­pied it. They took shel­ter first in the bor­der­ing ar­eas of Arunachal Pradesh and then in a slum near ISBT, Kash­mere Gate. It was in 1963 that they moved here to Ma­jnu Ka Tilla when a lot of other Ti­betans de­cided to set up camp here.

My fa­ther sent me to a board­ing school, Cen­tral School for Ti­betans in Dal­housie (Hi­machal Pradesh). He did not want me to wit­ness the hard­ships the fam­ily was go­ing through. Af­ter com­plet­ing my school ed­u­ca­tion, I did my grad­u­a­tion from Pun­jab Uni­ver­sity in Chandi­garh.

I came to Aruna Na­gar dur­ing the late ’80s and started help­ing my fa­ther in his busi­ness of woollen clothes. We buy wool­lens from Lud­hi­ana and sell in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. Many oth­ers de­pend on restau­rants and ho­tels for their liveli- hood. My fam­ily went through many ups and downs in their ef­forts to start this busi­ness. We all are very thank­ful to the In­dian gov­ern­ment for giving us shel­ter and the chance to earn a liv­ing.

We feel highly obliged as the gov­ern­ment has de­cided to reg­u­larise our colony. It will give us own­er­ship rights over the prop­er­ties that have been home to us for more than 50 years. Peo­ple who re­side here are mostly from tran­sHi­malayan belt and they share phys­i­cal, cul­tural, so­cial and lin­guis­tic sim­i­lar­i­ties. We feel at home here.

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