Tibetans in exile turn to Ranchi in winter to earn a living

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Ranchi, Oct 29 : With the winters setting in, a group of Tibetans from the hilly terrain of Himachal Pradesh have descended to the plains in Jharkhand in order to earn a living.

Their arrival and opening of the Tibetan Potala Market marks the advent of winter in Ranchi.

The Tibetans in exile come with stocks of woolen garments and jackets and earn a decent livelihood during their four to six months long stay.

Already around 50-odd stalls have been decked up with trendy and designer woolen clothes in vibrant hues.

The Tibetans in exile began their biannual affair after offering prayers to Lord Buddha and their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Ranchi serves as a second home to them where they spend their winters and earn their livelihood.

"This is one place where we stay in winter. During summers, we stay in Himachal. We earn our living by selling clothes here," said Lenzin, a Tibetan shop owner.

The Indo-Tibetan friendship organization makes adequate arrangements for the Tibetans to live and sell their products without any problems.

"We arrange their (Tibetans) stay of six months for almost free. They not only come here to earn their livelihood by selling clothes. But they help Jharkhand even. They set up such shops throughout Jharkhand and also peacefully demonstrate for their independence," said Raj Kumar Gupta, a Indo-Tibetan friendship office bearer.

According to the residents, the woolen attires available in the Potala Market are of the latest fashion trends and are available at reasonable prices.

"The market is good. Compared to the woolen items that we get outside, quality of items we get here is better. The prices are also reasonable," said Rekha Rani Toppo, a customer.

The Tibetans have taken refuge in India but there are very less job prospects for them. With almost nil job opportunities in the government sector and very few in the private sector, most of the Tibetans-in-exile have opted for setting up their own small businesses to earn their livelihood. By Girija Shankar Ojha

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