His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing at the main Tibetan temple in Dharamshala, India, May 27, 2016. Photo: TPI/Yeshe Choesang

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Dharamshala, India — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made a donation from his trust to the PM CARES Fund, created to enable people to contribute to the government’s containment and relief measures against the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Nobel Peace laureate has strongly expressed his support to the measures being taken by India, within the country, and among SAARC nations, to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In a letter to the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his support for his efforts to control the growing threat of the coronavirus, which has also reached India as it spreads across the world.

“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,” he wrote. “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."

While joining in the global battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the spiritual leader said "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," His Holiness said in his letter.

“I would also like to mention that members of my Office Staff would also like to contribute one day’s salary to the Fund,' the Tibetan leader further added.

“As I have stated elsewhere, I understand that as a result of the necessary lockdowns across the world, many people are facing tremendous hardship due to a loss of livelihood," he said.

"For those with no stable income in particular, it is becoming very hard to make ends meet. I hope, therefore, that charitable trusts such as the PM CARES Fund will be able to provide these people with urgently needed assistance,” His Holiness added

In conclusion, His Holiness affirmed his confidence in the steps being taken by the Central Government and prayed that they will be effective in containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, originated in Wuhan, China.

Prime Minister Modi at an India-initiated video conference of SAARC leaders on March 15, 2020, suggested that health professionals of the member nations could come together to jointly fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister also proposed setting up an emergency fund. India has also proposed setting up of a common electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise and best practices to jointly combat the spread of coronavirus.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.