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Dalai Lama helps Big Issue sellers

Homeless street paper vendors made a combined profit of £1.1 million thanks to a Dalai Lama special.

The exclusive interview and photos were used by 72 publications in 27 countries, including The Big Issue in the UK, and led to sell-outs across the globe.

The interview, secured by Scottish charity the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), featured on the cover of its member publications throughout the summer, with the last edition hitting the streets of Montreal this weekend.

One million copies of the Dalai Lama edition have been sold by more than 10,000 vendors, and volunteers for the Glasgow-based charity translated the story into 13 languages, including Slovak and Japanese.

In the interview, the Dalai Lama directly addressed the vendors. He advised them on how to deal with loneliness and stressed the importance of independent media, including street papers, in society.

One vendor, known as Paddy, who sells The Big Issue UK in Glasgow, said: "The Dalai Lama edition was the best cover we've had for ages.

"I walked into the Big Issue offices and just thought 'Wow, they're gonna sell like hot cakes'.

"A good cover tells me I'll have a good week. I sold 70 copies that week."

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