Read about Dr. Tsering Tsamchoe, Member secretary, The Central Council of Tibetan Medicine (India), interviewed by Marine Kerdiles (France/USA).
MK – Hi Dr. Tsamchoe, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I just want to start off by telling you a little bit about myself, so you know who I am. I am one of 10 students whom was invited to take part in this wonderful experience. Part of Jean-François’ vision is to talk about the youth and its role in global health, social entrepreneurship and the faith communities. I am a French-American registered nurse. I have been lucky enough to travel and take part in medical missions, which I enjoy doing. Can you please tell me about yourself and what you do?
TT – I am a Tibetan by origin, born in Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement, south India. I went to Central Schools for Tibetans Bylakuppe and learned basic Tibetan, Hindi and English languages. In the school, Tibetan language is obligatory but Hindi and English were optional. I come from a family of nine children. I did my higher education from Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath, Varanasi for nine years and completed my bachelor degree on Tibetan Medicine in the year 2001.
MK – That’s a lot of school. What do you do today?
TT – I briefly introduced myself yesterday during the forum. In the year 1959, thousands of Tibetan fled from Tibet and came into exile in India. In 1961, His Holiness the Dalai Lama formed an Exile Tibetan Government in Dharamsala, India, which is now called a Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Under the CTA, there is a Department of Health, Dept. of Religion and Culture, and 5 other departments. The Central Council of Tibetan Medicine (CCTM) was formed after an Act. (Tibetan Medicine Central Council Act. 2003) passed by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. CCTM is an apex of all the Tibetan Medical Practitioner in Exile and this council aims to register and regulated the Tibetan Medical system. The council consists of 12 executive members. I was working with the council as a Research officer and in 2013, I was elected as a Member secretary for three years and again in 2016, I was reelected and continuing my job as Member Secretary in council. The term duration of council member is for 3 years.
MK – What would help to boost your projects ?
TT – We are planning to make a separate research unit, but for that we need funding and also a man power.
MK – So you need funding for your research. Is there a specific subject you would like to research?
TT – Since Tibetan Medicine is a Traditional Medical System, there are many other traditional medicine in Asia like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We have to do more Literary Research based on those Asian Traditional Medicine. Tibetan Medicine has a history of more than 5000 years and this tradition is also a great part of Tibet's culture. In India, there are 6 Traditional Medical System ie. Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homeopathy Medical System were recognized. Tibetan Medicine, Literary known as Sowa Rigpa is one of the oldest living tradition of medicine in the world and it is also a great part of Tibet's Culture. This system is being practice in Tibet since the beginning of Tibet's civilization. In India, this system was recognized in the year 2010 and there are about 60 Tibetan Medical Clinics and hundreds of Tibetan Doctors serving for the poor and needy patients in India. We also need to do Clinical Research to prove scientifically the efficacy of Tibetan Medicine but again for that we need sufficient fund and also a qualified professional. Since I met Mr. Jean-Francois de Lavison, the president of Ahimsa Fund, we have been talking on health projects in Tibetan Communities and hope CCTM with the fund of Ahimsa, will begin the first project ie. Cervical Screening Project. From last year, CCTM started publishing a quarterly SORIG HEALTH MAGAZINE in Tibetan Language, which mainly focused on Good Health and Disease Prevention through Diet and Behavior.
MK – What recommendations would you give to the youth?
TT – To the youth, they are our future or the coming generation and they have huge responsibilities like us to make this world a better place of living with good health, peace and harmony.
MK – Throughout this forum, we have delved into discussing global health, social entrepreneurship and faith communities. In your opinion, what is your vision of the world in 30 years?
TT – Well, when we talk about the global health, we need a policies and strategies especially from the World Health Organization. Also we need to integrate Modern Medicine with the Traditional System of Medicine. The country where I currently live, ie in India, is the world's largest democratic country and people have full right to voice their right to health. But Tibetans living inside Tibet is under the Chinese occupation and they have no basic human right. Women were forced to abort if they born child out of plan. And due to the geographical status, many Tibetan lives in remote villages and there is no access of standard hospitals. In the next 30 years, my vision is to see the changes in Tibet and Tibetan people can avail full right to health like every other country has. The United Nation and World Health Organization can practice the basic International human rights law without any pressures from any Governments or NGOs. Broadly or globally, my vision of the world in next 30 years is to see people be free from any communicable diseases, people to maintain their health by good diet and behavior. Wish there be more health science Institutions than the Hospitals. People know the value of being born as human and treat all beings equally.
That's all! Thank you for your time and giving me an opportunity to share my story and ideas.
Thanks Ahimsa Team for this wonderful forum.