Lichen Norbu, Tashi Norbu, and Sonam Norbu are 7-year-old triplet Tibetan boys from Hongpo Village in Yunling Township, Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. They are currently in the first grade at Yunnan Dechen County Example Primary School.
The oldest, Lichen Norbu, gets good grades, and his dream is to become a doctor, returning to his hometown to treat sick people; second-oldest Tashi Norbu is lively and energetic. He has wanted to join the army since he was little, and protect his homeland; the youngest, Sonam Norbu, is gentle and quiet, and he hopes to go to Beijing for university, to become a professor.
According to government policy, in addition to school expenses, the local government also provides the three brothers with the children of farmers and herdsmen student living and nutrition subsidies. Each year they can receive a total of 9,600 yuan (1,548 US dollars), the support the completion of their studies and achievement of their dreams. According to the principal of Dechen County Example Primary School, the school has a total of 503 students, of whom nearly 90 percent are Tibetan. In addition to “two exemptions, one subsidy”, the local government also provides student living and nutrition subsidies every year to children of highland farmers and herdsmen, with a total of more than 50,000 students across the prefecture benefitting from the policy.