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Dalai Lama gifts Rs 7.8 cr to Indian NGO

May 14, 2012 20:02 IST

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday received the prestigious 1.1 million Pound Templeton Prize here and announced that most of the prize money will go to 'Save the Children' fund in India.

Speaking at the St Paul's Cathedral where he received the prize, 76-year-old Dalai Lama said that most of the prize money will go to the 'Save the Children' fund in India, with smaller bequests to a science and religion group which is studying the effects of Buddhist practice and to a project to train Buddhist monks as scientists.

About 900,000 Pounds will go to 'Save the Children', an Indian NGO that works for child rights, with 125,000 Pounds set aside for 'The Minds and Life Institute', a US based non-profit organisation. Money will also go towards a fund to educate Tibetan monks about science.

Dalai Lama, who leads a Tibetan government in exile in India, is being awarded the prize for encouraging "serious scientific investigative reviews of the power of compassion", and its potential to address world problems.

The John Templeton Foundation said he was chosen for exploring these issues, which are key themes of his teachings, with people beyond his own religious traditions.

It is the 40th anniversary of the Templeton Prize, which was established in 1972 as a global award honouring a living person who affirms "life's spiritual dimension", whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.

"With an increasing reliance on technological advances to solve the world's problems, humanity also seeks the reassurance that only a spiritual quest can answer," Dr John Templeton, president of the foundation and son of the late prize founder said.

"The Dalai Lama offers a universal voice of compassion underpinned by a love and respect for spiritually relevant scientific research that centres on every single human being," he added.

"I am very happy to receive this," the 14th Dalai Lama told journalists.

"Our hope is with future generations," the Dalai Lama said explaining his choice of charity.

"Our generation belongs to the 20th century, we are ready to say bye-bye," he added.

Previous awardees of The Templeton Prize included Mother Teresa.

While receiving the prize the Dalai Lama also said that he was shocked over the riots in London and other towns across Britain last summer, and expressed his sadness over the incidents in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron.

"I have the idea of Englishmen as mature, sensible, law-abiding people, If (riots) happen in England, it is a shock," he said.

"I sent a letter to the prime minister in which I expressed sadness and urged to him to think about the causes of the riots," he added.

The root cause for the riots, according to him was that the young were being "brought up to believe that life was just easy. Life is not easy. If you take for granted that life will be easy, then anger develops, frustration, and riots."

Asked about the Occupy protest outside St Paul's, he said: "If their reasons and motivations are sincere, then I will join with them."

He thought the protests were justified as a way of bringing to light grievances which would otherwise have been ignored.

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