Un­par­al­leled change ex­pe­ri­enced within space of a gen­er­a­tion

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Metro - By YUAN SHENGGAO

In the seven decades since the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s re­pub­lic of China, the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion has cre­ated history that pre­vi­ous mil­len­nia can­not match.

There have been many sig­nif­i­cant events since 1949, in­clud­ing the peace­ful lib­er­a­tion, demo­cratic re­form, foun­da­tion of the au­ton­o­mous re­gion, re­form and open­ing-up.

Ti­betan res­i­dents, freed from serf­dom seven decades ago and later be­com­ing masters of their own fate, are ben­e­fi­cia­ries of and wit­nesses to the great changes tak­ing place in the plateau re­gion that has been dubbed “the roof of the world.”

Kelzang Drolkar, from Lhasa, is one of the wit­nesses. The 56-year-old woman is the Party sec­re­tary of a com­mu­nity in the nachen sub­dis­trict of Lhasa. she has also been a del­e­gate to the na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress for three con­sec­u­tive ses­sions.

“My post as an NPC del­e­gate gives me a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the cen­tral au­thor­i­ties’ strong sup­port to Ti­bet,” said Kelzang Drolkar.

she added that her par­ents used to be serfs in the past. “They never ex­pected they could de­cide their own af­fairs 70 years ago. but now they have a fam­ily mem­ber as a de­ci­sion-maker of the na­tion,” she said.

“only those who ex­pe­ri­enced the cold win­ter would cher­ish the warmth of the sun,” Kelzang Drolkar added.

The peace­ful lib­er­a­tion of and demo­cratic re­form in Ti­bet have fun­da­men­tally changed the lives of the pre­vi­ous serfs. They used to ac­count for more than 95 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in Ti­bet.

The free­dom they en­joy has also helped them re­lease their creative pow­ers.

Lhagpa Phan­tog is an owner of a fac­tory pro­duc­ing Ti­betan in­cense. she used to be a tour guide be­cause of her flu­ency in Ti­betan, Chi­nese and english.

she said her mother was given the chance to study in schools in xi­anyang, shaanxi prov­ince. Lhagpa Phan­tog also stud­ied in a univer­sity.

Her ed­u­ca­tional back­ground gives her a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the lat­est trends in in­dus­tries.

she in­tro­duced an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly con­cept in the pro­duc­tion of in­cense and grew her prof­its. The sales rev­enue of her busi­ness was 4.5 mil­lion yuan ($631,615) last year.

Ti­bet now has a com­plete mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that cov­ers preschool, ba­sic, vo­ca­tional and higher-learn­ing ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams, as well as ed­u­ca­tion for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

To en­sure all peo­ple can ac­cess ed­u­ca­tion, Ti­bet launched a 15-year free and com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy for stu­dents from kinder­gartens to se­nior mid­dle schools.

by the end of 2018, the av­er­age school­ing pe­riod of Ti­bet’s res­i­dents was 9.55 years, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal statis­tics.

ny­ima Tashi is a pro­fes­sor and head of the mod­ern ed­u­ca­tional tech­nolo­gies cen­ter at Ti­bet Univer­sity. He led the cen­ter to make a num­ber of break­throughs in Ti­betan-lan­guage-based com­puter soft­ware and sys­tems.

Their achieve­ments in­clude a Ti­betan-lan­guage cod­ing sys­tem and a neuro-net­work-based Ti­betan-madarin trans­la­tion sys­tem.

Lian xi­ang­min, an of­fi­cial and re­searcher at China Ti­betol­ogy re­search Cen­ter based in bei­jing, said the great­est change in Ti­bet over the past 70 years is in peo­ple’s lives.

“The free­dom and equal­ity re­sulted from the re­gion’s lib­er­a­tion en­able peo­ple to be masters of their own des­tiny, re­leas­ing their orig­i­nal­ity and creativ­ity to the ut­most,” Lian said.

“That’s why Ti­bet has cre­ated many mirac­u­lous achieve­ments while hav­ing ex­plored a suc­cess­ful path for its so­cioe­co­nomic growth,” the re­searcher added.

The sus­tained so­cioe­co­nomic growth in Ti­bet has led to sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments in qual­ity of life.

at the end of 2018, sonam Dekyi be­came the 5-mil­lionth air pas­sen­ger in Ti­bet. It was a mile­stone in the au­ton­o­mous re­gion’s civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

Ti­bet has five air­ports with 92 air routes link­ing do­mes­tic and over­seas des­ti­na­tions.

It has de­vel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive trans­port sys­tem of high­ways, rail­ways and air­ports.

The to­tal length of high­ways reached 60,000 miles by the end of 2018.

af­ter the com­ple­tion of the Qing­hai-Ti­bet rail­way in 2006, the Lhasa-shi­gatse line was opened in 2014. The Lhasany­ingchi rail­way is now in the rail-paving stage.

Ti­bet has a mod­ern man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try sys­tem in­clud­ing en­ergy, light in­dus­try, food pro­cess­ing, eth­nic hand­i­craft mak­ing and pro­duc­tion of tra­di­tional Ti­betan medicines.

Tourism has grown into one of the lo­cal eco­nomic pil­lars, help­ing more than 100,000 ru­ral res­i­dents in­crease their in­come.

The steady and fast eco­nomic growth makes sure that more peo­ple can ben­e­fit from ever-im­prov­ing so­cial wel­fare.

To date, more than 3.7 mil­lion res­i­dents are cov­ered by var­i­ous so­cial se­cu­rity pro­grams, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal statis­tics.

In ad­di­tion to the qual­ity of life, the qual­ity of growth is also em­pha­sized by the re­gion’s gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal peo­ple.

The au­ton­o­mous re­gion is mak­ing ef­forts to pro­tect its en­vi­ron­ment and en­sure sus­tain­able so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Paljor is the boss of a tree nurs­ery in Lhokha city. Dur­ing the past decade, mil­lions of saplings from his nurs­ery have been de­liv­ered to var­i­ous re­gions in Ti­bet, con­tribut­ing to green­ing the world’s high­est plateau.

The busi­ness also brings hun­dreds of thou­sands of yuan in rev­enue to his fam­ily an­nu­ally.


Right: From kinder­gartens to se­nior mid­dle schools, stu­dents in Ti­bet now en­joy 15-year free ed­u­ca­tion.

Lob­sang / for CHINA DAILY

Left: Res­i­dents in Lhasa read Fam­ilyal­bum, a book record­ing the great changes in Ti­bet in the past seven decades.

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