He is not a teacher by profession, but people call him guruji. Without being a doctor, he heals up ailing wounds. He has done miracles, although he does not practice tantra. For many people, he is a lunatic as he has ?spent? his life for those who do not have any relation of cast, religion, language, race, or nationality with him. One can easily see a glimpse of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his eyes. He himself speaks less; his work in the dirty slums of Charan Khadd near beautiful hill station Dharamsala speaks in volumes.
Yes, we are talking about a young Tibetan refugee monk Jamyang (33) who has taken up the cause of the slum dwellers for the last couple of years. His target group is the community of migrated ragpickers and beggars of Rajasthan and Maharashtra who live in pathetic conditions in the shanties at Charan Khadd. An old resident of the area, Dayal, said, ?Guruji, for all of us, is like a devata. He helps us a lot in solving every problem. We had never imagined that a person would come to show us the path of salvation.? According to Sito Devi, ?Earlier Guruji used to give us foodgrains and woolens and we accepted the same as beggars. But after that he changed his line of action and started two tuition tents in the dirty slums. At that time we were rather surprised and annoyed. Now we have realised that he is trying to change the destiny of our generations.?
Jamyang had fled from Tibet at the age of 19 in 1993 to save his life from the occupant Chinese. He thought that after living in India, he would pursue his higher studies in Buddhism. When he reached Dharamsala, he was sent to a monastery in Karnataka for the purpose. He returned to Dharamsala in 2001 for further studies. There he came in contact with the children of Charan Khadd in 2002, who used to beg in the streets and pick rags. With them only he went to the slums and started distribution of foodgrains and clothes.
Talking to Organiser Jamyang said, ?It was not a good experience. There hunger could not be satisfied by providing them the material, rather it increased in many folds. Then I came to understand that the solution to the problem is something else. My new opinion was that if good health facilities to all of them and education to the young generation is provided, they would be able to break the vicious circle of poverty. Since 2003, I am focusing in that area. I have also a good team of dedicated volunteers with me.?
The kids in two tuition tents in the slums were prepared for admission to public schools but no good school in Dharamsala was ready to accept the boys and girls from slums. A sensitive principal of local Dayanand Model School gave admission to ten boys and ten girls. Jamyang started a hostel for them with all modern facilities and good wardens. Smt. Meera Chauhan, the then principal of Dayanand Model School said, ?At the time of there admission, my staff was reluctant due to the background of the kids. But you will be surprised to know that all of them are among the best students of the school. They are the toppers of their class and excellent in extra-curricular activities also. We are really proud of them.?
The hostel is like a heaven for the kids. Little Pinky in the hostel said, ?We are lucky enough to have a saint like Guruji with us. I want to become a pilot.? Nisha and Kiran have dreams to become doctor. They said, ?Guruji is our role model and we want to serve the people like him.? Smt Navita and Shri Narendra Kumar, the wardens of the hostel told this reporter that the kids are very sincere and disciplined and participate in all extra-curricular activities along with their studies.
For teenagers also, he has programmes to change their life. A weekly school is run for them as they cannot afford to pursue daily studies leaving aside their routine job to pick rags. Rano (17), said, ?We have learnt a lot in that school. I am also learning stitching and want to leave ragpicking in time to come. Guruji teaches us about moral values and how to adopt them in our life.?
The monk in 2004 got a trust registered named Tong-len Charitable Trust and started his work in a very systematic manner. He provides free good health facilities to all the resident of the slums. A weekly clinic is run on every Tuesday where a doctor and paramedical staff attends the patients. Serious patients are sent to Dharamsala Government hospital and also to P.G.I. Chandigarh.
Beeru, Shankar, and Meenu are among the dedicated volunteers that Jamyang have. They take classes in tuition tents, accompany patients to hospital, and do all other social activities as per the guidance of their Guruji.
Now Jamyang has planned to start another hostel for 100 children this year. Not only this, he had got a survey conducted in all the slum areas of Himachal Pradesh. The survey report reveals that around 10,000 people live in the slums in all the districts of the state. All of them are from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Nobody came forward to give the permanent solution to their problems. According to Jamyang, ?The results of our work in Charan Khadd are very encouraging. Now the experience we gained would help us to expand our work in all the slum areas of this beautiful state.?
On questions like who inspired him to take up this cause and what are the financial resources with him, he very humbly replied, ?It is all due to the grace of the God. I realised that the real service of Lord Buddha is the service to suffering humanity. I try to do my duty as per the preaching of Buddha and the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. My only source of income is donations which I collect from the people who come to seek blessing from His Holiness.? On another question, he categorically said the conversion of people from one religion to another through service is a sin in the eyes of Dharma and he would never allow these kinds of activities in his area of work.