A large number of them migrated to various places across India and a sizeable number of the youth chose to get educated in Vijayawada.

For a long time Vijayawada has been like a ‘second home’ for scores of Tibetan youth with a majority of them coming here for studies. The instances when they might have felt insecure are few and far between as they are able to mingle freely with local people who are as caring as their far-away parents and families.

D. Wangyal who is a student of B.Com in Andhra Loyola College (ALC) had migrated from his hometown Kham to Himachal Pradesh.

There he grew with his relatives and studied till Intermediate after which he migrated to Vijayawada along with many friends who had similar tales to narrate. Most of them are studying in ALC and Maris Stella College. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Wangyal said only a few Tibetans were able to stay back in their homeland due to the oppression by Chinese.

A large number of them migrated to various places across India and a sizeable number of the youth chose to get educated in Vijayawada. They believed that the standards (of education) here are among the best.

Ideal place

Mr. Wangyal said thousands of Tibetan students were studying in South India and that Vijayawada was the ideal place for many.

They are studying with the help of scholarships provided by the Tibetan government in exile in Dharmasala and occasionally their families and friends contribute something for their day-to-day expenses.

Asked whether the Tibetan students faced any discrimination in Vijayawada, Mr. Wangyal said there was nothing of that sort, saying they were fortunate to have friendly people who understood the feelings of youngsters from Tibet who were forced to leave their hometowns in search for education and livelihood.

“Though we feel comfortable in this bustling commercial town, the urge to return to our homeland will of course never go away. What we desperately need is an end to Chinese occupation,” Mr. Wangyal and Tenzin Leckmon, who are leaders of Vijayawada Tibetan Students’ Association expressed the anguish. They sounded hopeful of breathing the air of freedom sooner or later.

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