The colourful world of Tibetans in Delhi, who live at Majnu ka Tila while they work at the Monastery, a confined shopping area. This photo-feature is on how the exiles have transformed themselves over the years.
Tibetans have been in Delhi for decades settling down since the early sixties. Over the years, they have made strenuous efforts to come out of poverty and have become self-reliant even as they have continued to retain the spirit of seeing an independent Tibet.
The Delhi Tibetans have carved themselves a place in two settlements in north Delhi - Majnu ka Tila, primarily their living quarters - and the Monastry, a Tibetan market where they own shops. Over years, both these places have become tourist spots in their own right.
Majnu ka Tila which is the residential quarters has transformed itself into an upscale eating and shopping destination that not only attracts students from the Delhi University but also foreign tourists.
The third-generation Tibetans are now educated, speak Hindi, English and Tibetan and are now getting jobs in Indian organisations. Many are migrating to the Western world in search of better opportunities and to spread the work on Tibet-an issue that remains close to their heart.
Even now, one routinely comes across Tibetans who have shown courage by fleeign from Tibet; crossin the inhospitable terrain of the Himalayas and reaching India. Their escape is not only from the dictatorial policies of China; but also to have a glimpse of the Dalai Lama and to seek a better existence in India-almost like the promised land.
Majnu ka Tila also houses the offices of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which is at the forefront of all agitations and takes the credit of keeping the struggle for a free Tibet alive.
On the other hand, the Monastry beckons the local tourist who comes to this small Tibetan market primarily for clothes, trinkets, junk jewellery as well as food.
This market has provided a lifeline to the Tibetans by proping them up with a means of sustainance. Often, the same Tibetan shopkeepers can afford to hire Indians to manage their shops even as they expand their business.