Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 1 April 2020
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday lauded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to control the growing threat of the Coronavirus disease in India. The worldwide pandemic has caused a global health crisis.
In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, the Dalai Lama wrote: “I appreciate the enormous challenges that this crisis poses to the world community and the need for strict measures to be taken to meet them.”
“I would like to thank you for the initiative that you have taken in partnership with other SAARC countries to set up an emergency fund and to exchange information, knowledge and expertise to tackle the spread of Covid-19. Such collaboration will also create a model for dealing with similar problems in the future.
“As a token of my sympathy and support, I am making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the PM CARES Fund set up to provide relief during crises such as this.”
Staff members of his office have contributed one day’s salary to the Fund.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a lockdown of all 1.3 billion people in India, asking them to remain indoors until 15 April, saying such self-isolation was necessary to stop transmission of the virus.
The three-week shutdown has left hundreds of thousands of poor with hunger and without jobs. Migrant workers have been stranded in cities, trying to head home to their villages on foot on deserted highways.
Modi on Sunday sought forgiveness for the crisis due to lack of adequate planning ahead of the decision.
In an earlier message, the Dalai Lama said that as a result of the necessary lockdowns all over the world, many people are facing tremendous hardship due to loss of livelihood. “For those with no stable income, life is a daily struggle for survival. I earnestly appeal to all concerned to do everything possible to care for the vulnerable members of our communities.”
Expressing his gratitude to the medical staff — doctors, nurses and other support personnel — who are working on the frontline to save lives at great personal risk, he said, “Their service is indeed compassion in action.”
India has registered 1,397 cases of Coronavirus, of which there were 35 deaths as of 31 March. Experts believe India is weeks away from a huge surge that could overwhelm its weak public health system.
Globally, Coronavirus cases have reached almost 850,000, with close to 42,000 dead by the end of March. The US is leading the tally, crossing the 180,000 mark for number of cases, but the maximum deaths have occurred in Italy with more than 12,000.