(TibetanReview.net, Nov09, 2016) – A night time fire whose cause remains unknown has reduced to dust a total of 138 temporary winter market shops set up by Tibetans from different parts of India near Lal Qila (Red Fort) and Jama Masjid in Delhi. The fire broke out at around midnight of Nov 7-8 and quickly engulfed the whole Tibetan market with their stocks of winter wear items reduced to ashes.
A sentry on duty was stated to have called the fire service which arrived half an hour later. It could not handle the raging inferno and called for more fire fighters but nothing could be saved. Total loss was estimated to be worth Rs 120 million (over $1.8 million).
Apart from Delhi, the Tibetan shopkeepers had come from Manali, Puruwala, Shimla, Bylakuppee, and Srinagar for the 3-4 month winter season business. Lacking proper sources of livelihood and employment opportunities, holding such seasonal markets in different parts of India remains a major source of livelihood for many Tibetans.
The Exile Tibetan administration at Dharamshala has sanctioned Rs 1.5 million for immediate reconstruction of the temporary market while promising further support.