Tributes paid to Queen's Park charity worker who died after contracting Covid
Rachael Burford LDRS
- Credit: David Kelly
Tributes have today been paid to a “highly respected” Tibetan charity worker who died after contracting Covid-19 shortly before Christmas.
Karma Hardy, 54, from Queen’s Park, died in St Mary’s Hospital on December 28, following a two week battle with Coronavirus.
The father-of-one was the former director of the London-based Tibet Foundation, which campaigns for the rights of Tibetan people in the region and those in exile.
Tsering Passang, his friend and colleague of more than 20 years, said: “Karma was well known by the small Tibetan community in the UK for his tireless work.
“He was a witty, highly respected and very kind man. We are devastated by this loss.”
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Mr Hardy, whose father was Scottish and mother Tibetan, was raised in a refugee camp in India before studying at the Central School for Tibetan in Mainpat and the Karma Sri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies at Rumtek Monastery.
He moved to London in 1994 where he started work as an office assistant at the Tibet Foundation.
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He rose to become the organisation’s director and took early retirement in 2012 on health grounds and to help look after his daughter Saldon, 16, who has epilepsy.
He continued to work in translation and consultancy.
During his almost two decades at the Foundation, Mr Hardy led charitable programmes in India, Mongolia and Tibet and directed the fundraising and humanitarian efforts during snow-storms in Sershul and the Sichuan earthquakes.
He helped bring Tibetan spiritual leaders and doctors from India to the UK for visits and oversaw the formation of the Gangjong Doeghar, a Tibetan performing arts group which has toured Europe.
Mr Passang, who took over as director of the Tibet Foundation, said: “Karma was renowned for his courtesy, his unflappability and his determination to help others.
“There are innumerable instances of his civility and caring for others. The outpouring of grief and anecdotes of his kindness and good humour has flooded social media.”
The Palyul Centre, an Islington-based Buddhist organisation, led two hour online evening prayer sessions in Mr Hardy’s memory every night for a week after his death.
His former colleagues have started a fundraising campaign to help support his daughter and wife Pema, raising more than £8,000 so far. Visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/karma-hardy-rip