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A monk dedicates himself to giving unwanted children the childhood he never had

In a remote region of the Indian Himalayas, Lobsang Phuntsok, formerly a Buddhist monk, has dedicated his life to rescuing unwanted, orphaned and needy children. He cares for and educates them at a unique, donor-supported community called Jhamtse Gatsal (Tibetan for ‘garden of love and compassion’), which houses around 90 children and their caretakers. Abandoned as a child and taken in at a Buddhist monastery, Lobsang now strives to give vulnerable youngsters the loving father figure and the experience of childhood that he feels he missed. Tashi and the Monk follows Lobsang as he balances pleas for help from nearby families with the Jhamtse Gatsal’s limited resources. Meanwhile, he’s faced with a difficult recent arrival, five-year-old Tashi who is a restless cyclone of a girl, prone to spitting, hitting, pushing and crying.

Winner of the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary, Tashi and the Monk is at once uplifting and heartbreaking as it contemplates the many challenges – and remarkable rewards – of making compassion truly the centre of one’s life.

Directors: Andrew Hinton, Johnny Burke

Website: Pilgrim Films

26 September 2016

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