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Karma Khedup

We started out with this idea of profiling prominent people in the community and people whom we thought in a small way epitomized the community here in New York. Like many other Tibetans who came to the "Land of Opportunity", Karma Khedup the President of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey too came here with many personal dreams and aspirations.

Born in Nangchen, Kham, he came with his parents to exile in 1959 to India where he studied in a school in Rajasthan for a few years. He worked in the Indian/ Tibetan army for several years before heading to Kathmandu to seek his fortune with the carpet industry. Through this period, he was actively involved with the various social and political Tibetan agencies and associations before he came to the US. He has worked as a volunteer for the NY/NJ Tibetan community for the last four years in the capacity of the President. While, for some this would be a full-time position assuming that they would require payment — the position of the non profit is an unpaid position — and Khedupla (known lovingly by the young members of Migyul as Aku Khedup ) has a full-time position elsewhere as a construction worker during the day.

He finds, or rather makes, time to work for the community on all his free time, which includes holidays, weekends, and late at night. On some occasions he takes days off from work to handle issues which require immediate attention for the community. One of the main aims of the Tibetan Community of New York/ New Jersey is the preservation of Tibetan Language and Culture. The Sunday school was set up with working towards preserving the language. Motivated by the words of the Dalai Lama that only Tibetans can help themselves, he feels that this is his contribution to the community.

Life in New York is very fast and busy — only the hardworking survive and can make a decent living. Agu Khedup pleads with the Tibetan community in New York/ New Jersey not to stay away from the community. We need to be together and requests that people with various knowledge and skills to share the knowledge within the community to further the knowledge and skills of the community at large.

Karma Khedup is President, Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey.