These days, the construction of temples and schools is quite comman in Tibetan society, but it is very rare to find a place which looks after elderly people. Therefore, in the year 1992, Namgyal Monastery took a keen interest in building a home for elderly people at Shimla.
We were able to build this home with donations offered from several different contributors, particularly wealthy Tibetan people of Nepal and various Tibet support groups, like German Aid to Tibetans, Swiss Tibet Freunde, Casa del Tibet in Spain, the American Himalayan Foundation, and also Mr. Klaus Hebben. Many other contributors provided sincere help, and we were able to finish the construction on 25th April 1999. On this special occasion, we invited the honorable chief minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Vir Bhadra Singh as the chief guest, and ended the ceremony with applause and content.
We now provide for 50 elderly people from various Tibetan settlements, and also new arrivals from Tibet. They receive housing, food, daily necessities, medical expenses, and pocket money of Rs 200 per month. We have a plan to increase the number of people in the near future through the help of contributors and supporters.
During winter time, when the weather is very cold in Shimla, the elderly people are taken on pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya and other sacred places, where it is much warmer. During the pilgrimage, with the help of the Old Aged Association of the Indian government, we are able to place all the people together in one house. When the elderly people stay in Shimla, they recite prayers for six hours every day. The number of recitations are then submitted to the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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