TCV Schools

Following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950 and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s flight to India, it was quickly apparent that one of the most critical needs of Tibetan refugees was finding a means to care for the many children who had been orphaned or separated from their families during the arduous escape from their homeland. His Holiness promptly recognised that the future of Tibet and its people depended upon the younger generation. With this in mind and out of concern for the miserable conditions under which so many children were suffering, His Holiness proposed that a centre for destitute children be established in Dharamsala.

 

On 17 May 1960, fifty-one children arrived from the road construction camps in Jammu, ill and malnourished. Mrs. Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of His Holiness, volunteered to look after them. Initially these children were assigned to members of the Dalai Lama’s entourage, but before long the Government of India offered its assistance, renting Conium House to accommodate all the children together. At that time, the centre was under the name “Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children.”

 

Originally, the Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children provided only the basic care for children. When they reached the age of eight, they were sent to other residential schools established by the Government of India. But eventually this arrangement could not be continued, as all the residential schools became filled to capacity. This left the Nursery to find a solution to problem of overcrowding. Thanks to the foresight and courage of Mrs. Jetsun Pema, the then Director, it was decided that the Nursery had to grow and expand despite many apparent obstacles.

 

A massive reorganization plan was set into motion. This included seeking help from private donors and international aid organizations. A period of hectic construction work ensued to provide for more houses and classrooms for children. The Nursery slowly toook the shape of a small village with its own school and homes.This Children’s village is what we called today as the Upper TCV School at Dharamsala.

 

From its humble beginning forty nine years ago, Tibetan Children’s Village has today become a thriving, integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. It has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South, with over 16,726 children under its care.

 

Forty nine years is not a short period in anyone’s life and certainly not in the life of TCV. Tibetan Children’s Village realizes the enormous responsibility it bears for the destiny of our Tibetan children and for the goodwill of the thousands of its donors and friends around the world who have sustained it through all these years.Today, we are proud to see young people from our villages serving the Tibetan community in different capacities and, at the same time, accept that there are a few children who have not fared so well. In this respect, extensive efforts are being made to further improve the lives of our children, bearing in mind the lessons and shortcomings we have experienced in the past. Though much has been achieved, we still have a long way to go in fulfilling our aims and objectives of providing the children under our care with the necessary resources and the opportunities to develop their abilities to the fullest. As has been highlighted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his message on our 35th Anniversary; “the future direction of our programme will be in the field of further education in specialised studies to meet the human resource needs of the community during our period in exile and more importantly when the time comes for us to go back to our homeland…” We shall endeavour further to improve the quality of our children’s education and their cultural and social upbringing without necessarily sacrificing the simplicity of our exile life-style.

 

TCV Branches

TCV School Upper Dharamsala

TCV School Bylakyppe

TCV School Ladakh

TCV School Suja

TCV School Gopalpur

TCV School Lower Dharamsala

TCV School Chauntra

TCV School Selakui

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