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'We thank the government'

realestate Updated: Mar 20, 2013 19:28 IST
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Karten Tsering

I was 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 livelihood. 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 trans-Himalayan belt and they share physical, cultural, social and linguistic similarities. We feel at home here.