Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tribute to Dr. Nandkishore Trikha

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Dr. Nandkishore Trikha
When all across India jubilantly welcome the new season with  festivities of Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal, the news of untimely demise of Dr. Nandkishore Trikha, a longtime and trusted friend of Tibet has casted a shallow dark cloud of sadness that sunken me with heavy heart. It is such a great loss to the Tibetan people whom he dearly and passionated worked for Tibet till his last breathe. Dr. Saab as i usually called him  with respect, was a fatherly figure to me who was always ready to help and guide us with his unconditional love and the larger-than-life wisdom and his down-to-earth humility. 

My association with Mr. Trikha started in 2008, after I returned from a sabbatical leave, to work as the coordinator of the India-Tibet Coordination Office in Delhi.  My main job was to coordinate with the Indian supporters to organize and create awareness about Tibetan freedom movements in all parts of India. Interestingly, Indian support groups for Tibet are spread widely across India and are ideologically influenced by many great Indian leaders like Dr. Rammanohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan,  and Dr. Ambedkar. In order to have an effective campaign activities, the Core Group for Tibetan Cause was conceived during the First All India TSG conference in Chandigarh in September 2003. Dr. Trikha, was then appointed the first national convener of Core Group for Tibetan Cause, an apex body of Indian support groups for Tibet. On regular basis, I had frequent meetings and conversations with him either at his Press Enclave residence and  in my office. Whenever we approached his residence, his wife generously offered us with sweets and fruits. I am privileged of working with Dr. Trikha in hosting several International and national conferences of Tibet support groups, like the Special International Tibet Support Groups Conference in Gurgaon in 2008; 3rd All India Tibet Support Groups Conference in Delhi in 2009; 6th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups in Surajkund, Haryana in 2010; and the 4th All India Tibet Support Groups Conference in Dharamshala, 2012. The Core Group for Tibetan Cause, and certainly under his leadership, many seminars on Tibet was held in Delhi over the years. 

Lately, Dr. saab was diagnosed with cancer and routinely visited hospital for regular medical checkup. Recently, when the Department of Information and International Relations of Central Tibetan Administration hold the historic 5-50 summit, Dr. saab’s name was written as a confirmed participant and I casually informed the organizer that Dr. Saab may not attend due to his chronic illness. But I was amazed by his tireless commitment for Tibet that he attended the three days program without failing even a single session. When I saw him during the registration, I accompanied and escorted him to his allotted room and alerted the organizer to arrange an usher to assist Dr. Trikha whenever needed. In between, I inquired him of any necessities required. 

Last Friday, after returning from Bodhgaya, i had a day long transit in Delhi. I told my former colleague to make an appointment with Dr. Saab to visit him at his residence. It was on Saturday morning, i was told that Dr. Saab was admitted in AIIMS and was in ventilator. i was eager to meet, but hopelessly could not meet him. Now, I am shattered with the guilt of not meeting him during his last day.  

For years, Dr. Trikha supported us tirelessly and unconditionally, with the simple hope for justice and freedom of Tibet and dearly adored His Holiness the Dalai Lama with high respect. Tibet was so close to his heart that he dare not missed any events on Tibet, despite having  constant health issues. With the sudden and untimely demise, I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt condolences to his bereaving family members in this darkest moment of their life. More so, it gives me courage to work harder for the cause of Tibet that Dr. Trikha dearly and wholeheartedly worked for the freedom of Tibet. Rest in Peace Dr. Saab. We will dearly miss you and shall keep you in our prayers.

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