By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 30 October 2013
A benefit concert for the victims of a cyclone in India’s eastern state of Odisha raised a few lakh rupees for flood relief efforts.
The concert, featuring Prashant Tamang, the winner of Indian Idol Season 3 in 2007, and Tibetan pop stars Tsering Gyurmey and Phurbu T Namgyal, pulled in more than two thousand people at the TIPA Ground in McLeod Ganj on Wednesday night.
The show was opened by one of the most well-known of Tibetan artistes and activists, Loten Namling, with his renditions of folk, fusion, and rock pieces.
Loten Namling felt that there was a great sense of bonding and unity. “The huge gathering and the support was inspiring. I am happy to be able to perform and contribute through music to this benefit concert.”
The Indian state of Odisha was hit by Cyclone Phailin on 12 October, affecting an estimated 12 million people.
Odisha is also home to more than one thousand Tibetan refugees living in Phuntsholing Settlement.
A TYC survey by its Vice-President Tamdin Hrichoe and Culture Secretary Tashi Dhondup found that major damage had been caused to the fields where crops are grown and harvested. Over 90% of the fields have been destroyed. Agriculture is the main source of income for Tibetans living there.
Speaking to Tibet Sun, Prashant Tamang said, “This visit to McLeod Ganj is a dream come true for me as I always wanted to come here and get a blessing from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
Tamang and his wife, along with Tibetan artistes Tsering Gyurmey and Phurbu T Namgyal, had an audience with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday. Tamang also had an audience with the Karmapa.
“I also feel happy to be part of this benefit concert for Tibetans affected by the cyclone in Odhisha,” Tamang said.
Tamang said he knew about Tibet and the Tibetan freedom struggle and said, “I learnt more after coming to McLeod Ganj and meeting many people.”
“Tibetans are humble and kind. I will be always there for their cause.”
Phurbu T Namgyal said, “I am happy to be singing with some top talents, and happy to be contributing through my art to the cause.”
Tsering Gyurmey, who was born in Odisha, thanked the organisers and the audience for their support for the Tibetans who have been affected by the cyclone.
The concert raised a few lakh rupees from tickets and contributions. TYC President Tenzing Jigme said all the proceeds will go directly to those who have been affected by Cyclone Phailin.