By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 5 February 2021
President of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lobsang Sangay, laid the foundation stone of a new hall for Tibetans in McLeod Ganj.
“A hall has been a wish of the people of McLeod Ganj for a long time. The new hall is being built with the funding assistance of the Cabinet, which has granted 85% of the cost,” said Tibetan Settlement Officer Kunga Tsering.
The new hall, named Phuntsok Khangsar, will be built at the cost of INR2.8 crore (US$384,000), and is expected to be ready in nine months. “We may inaugurate the new hall in October. It will have capacity for 150 people,” Tsering says.
Sangay said he suggested to have the new building in Tibetan style architecture, as McLeod Ganj is known for being the capital of the Tibetan Diaspora. The building will have office spaces and shops apart from the hall.
An old structure right beside the Tibetan Settlement Office on Bhagsu Road, which used to be called the Environment Hall, has been dismantled to build the new hall.
The structure was once the branch Mentseekhang (Tibetan Medical Centre) in McLeod Ganj. Since Mentseekhang’s moving to a new facility, the old building was given to the Tibetan Settlement Office, which was called the Tibetan Welfare Office until a few years ago.
The dilapidated structure had a hall, an environment office, a gym, recycled paper factory, a few smaller offices, and a kitchen.
Along with Sangay, Minister for Home of CTA Sonam Topgyal, the Home Secretary, and Nechung Kuten were among the guests during the event.
Nechung Kuten and three monks from Nechung offered the prayers of blessing for the site.