Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Thursday extended birthday greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lauded his efforts in tackling COVID-19 pandemic in India.

In a letter to PM Modi, Dalai Lama said this has been an exceptionally tough year for people and nations across the world due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus.

“It is my earnest hope that the international community working together will be able to contain its spread before long and that suitable vaccines will be developed soon.In India, the Central and state authorities are doing whatever they can to alleviate difficulties the public face.

I would like to convey my deep appreciation of the appropriate measures you have taken to meet the enormous challenges that this crisis has brought about,” he added.

He further stated that in addition to threats to their health, mental as well as physical, people all over the world are confronted by a loss of livelihood while the education of the children has been interrupted.

These circumstances have brought about anxiety and a deep sense of unease, especially among many ordinary people.

“People frequently ask me how to cope with the array of challenges before them. I suggest looking at each problem from different angles in a realistic way.

I keep in mind the advice of the 8th century Indian scholar Shantideva, who recommended examining whether the problem we face could be solved. If there is a solution, what we must do is work to put it into effect and if there is not, continuing to worry about it is a waste of time,” he said.

He added he was convinced that in uncertain times like these, the age-old Indian practice of non-violent conduct, backed by a compassionate motivation was not only relevant but also necessary if we were to move forward in a calm and collected way.