Ti­betan tem­ples get bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties to im­prove con­di­tions

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Leng Shumei

A cam­paign to help tem­ples with bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties has pro­vided in­fir­maries, show­ers, read­ing and fit­ness rooms to im­prove the monks’ and nuns’ liv­ing con­di­tions in China’s Ti­betan re­gions such as Southwest China’s Yun­nan and Sichuan Prov­inces.

The lat­est tem­ple and Bud­dhism in­sti­tute to ben­e­fit from the cam­paign is the Yun­nan In­sti­tute of Bud­dhist Stud­ies lo­cated in the Shangrila city, cap­i­tal of De­qen in Yun­nan.

“It is the first such project in De­qen and will be pro­moted to all tem­ples in the pre­fec­ture if it goes well,” an em­ployee from the united front work de­part­ment of De­qen told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The em­ployee said lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have al­ready es­tab­lished read­ing rooms for all tem­ples in De­qen. But pro­vid­ing other costly fa­cil­i­ties, like those for fit­ness, varies based on spe­cific lo­cal con­di­tions.

De­qen is the only Ti­betan au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture in Yun­nan.

Aside from the project at the tem­ples, the em­ployee said they would also help pro­vide bath­rooms for women.

“It saves us a lot of time af­ter an in­fir­mary is pro­vided so I do not have to go to a down­town hospi­tal for mi­nor ill­nesses,” a monk study­ing at the bud­dhism in­sti­tute was quoted as say­ing by ti­bet.cn on Wednesday.

An­other monk hailed the fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties. He told ti­bet.cn that he plays ping-pong a lot with school­mates, which not only ben­e­fits health but also helps him bet­ter con­cen­trate in class.

The project is part of a se­ries of public ser­vice ac­tiv­i­ties guided by the United Front Work De­part­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, which has re­cruited about 22,000 med­i­cal staff and vol­un­teers to help more than 520,000 res­i­dents in the Ti­betan pre­fec­ture in 11 years.

Although it was the first in De­qen, the project has cov­ered 60 tem­ples in China’s Ti­betan ar­eas since 2014, ti­bet.cn re­ported.

Sam­drup, a monk at the Dre­pung Monastery, one of the largest monas­ter­ies based in Lhasa, Southwest China’s Ti­bet Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the project has al­ready been pro­moted in most tem­ples in Ti­bet and has largely im­proved the qual­ity of their life.

Since 2011, Ti­bet has in­vested nearly 7 bil­lion yuan ($1.1 bil­lion) on a cam­paign to en­sure that all monas­ter­ies or tem­ples in the re­gion have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity, wa­ter and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.

Tem­ples in Ti­bet are also build­ing public bath­rooms, can­teens and read­ing rooms for the monks and nuns.

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