The Tibetan Children’s Village came into existence on May 17, 1960 when fifty-one children arrived to India from Tibet, ill and malnourished, from the road construction camps in Jammu. Mrs. Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of the Dalai Lama, volunteered to look after them. The government of India offered its assistance, renting Conium House to accommodate all the children together. The center’s first name was the "Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children." Originally, the Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children provided only basic care for children until the age of eight. When they reached the age of eight, the children 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 filled to capacity, and could not accept new students at age eight. It was then decided that the Nursery had to grow and expand to provide for more houses and also classrooms for children. The Nursery slowly took the shape of a small village with its own school and homes, which became the Tibetan Children’s Village in 1971.
The Tibetan Children’s Village continues operations today. It has expanded and currently operates centers in Upper Dharamshala, Lower Dharamshala, Bylakuppe, Gopalpur, Chauntra, Suja, Ladakh, and Selakui. The Village also operates Youth Hostels in Delhi and Bengaluru. From its humble beginnings 54 years ago, Tibetan Children's Village has become a thriving, integrated educational community for Tibetan children in India. Currently, the Tibetan Children’s Village serves over 16,700 children, and is a Global Ministries Child Sponsorship partners. Global Ministries joins other institutions in support of the Tibetan Children’s Village through special gifts and sponsorships.
Update: June 2020
The Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) shares that the children and staff member continue to stay safe in all branches of the TCV. In India, the country continues to remain in lockdown. However, each state and district have varying guidelines to be followed. Overall, the state/districts have been divided into three zones: red, orange and green. Red zones are for areas considered hot spots and are in total lockdown, Orange zones have experienced positive cases, but are beginning to relax the restrictions, and Green zones are areas without any confirmed cases and are not under lockdown.
The Upper TCV, Lower TCV, Gopalpur home, and Suja home are all located in the Kangra District, which is currently an Orange Zone. Individuals are able to go out of their homes to buy essentials between the hours of 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM daily. Shops and restaurants are opened partly, but people are not allowed to eat inside restaurants. Private cars and taxis can move around during the relaxation period within the district, but with only 50% capacity, with face masks, and adhering to social distancing guidelines. All air, rail, and public road transportations are still on lockdown. Likewise, the TCV in Chauntra and Selekaui are located in Orange zones, with similar relaxed lockdown restrictions.
The TCV in Bylakuppe is located within the Tibetan Settlement in the state of Karnataka. Currently, there are no case of any outbreaks, but precautionary lockdown measures are in place by the settlers themselves as per guidelines of the local authorities and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). In Ladakh, positive cases have been reported recently is under Red Zone. Therefore, on March 3, TCV closed the school in this district and children were sent home to stay with parents or relatives.
TCV continues to provide attention and care for the individuals living in the Elders Home in Choglamsar. Precautionary restrictions are in place, and all continue to remain healthy. There have been no cases in the districts of Hanley, Sumdo, and Nyuoma, however TCV has decided to close the schools in these districts as precautionary measures.
Although all TCV schools have been closed for almost two months now, teachers are offering online teachings in English, Tibetan, Science, and Mathematics. Given there are over 7,500 children enrolled in TCV programs across all the different branches, the TCV will proceed carefully on considering when to reopen depending on how the situation develops. To view updates, watch several TCV online school lessons, and see pictures of the different TCV campuses, check out the TCV Facebook page here.