Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

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Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre in Darjeeling, India is a rehabilitation Centre for the Tibetan refugees in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. It was established on 2 October 1959, after they followed Dalai Lama and escaped from Tibet.[1] The production of Tibetan handicraft is the centre's main activity.


It is located at hillside Lebong in Darjeeling District of West Bengal. The altitude is approximately 2,143 m (7,031 ft) above sea level. The temperature variation is from 17°-1.5 °C, along with an annual 320 cm rainfall.

Brief History[edit]

The Hill Top Shop in Darjeeling, India.

Situated at Lebong and locally known as Hermitage, the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre (TRSHC) came into existence on October 2, 1959. In 1959, funds raised from local charity led to the starting of this center by Mr. Gyalo Thondup. The place initially provided emergency relief to Tibetan refugees who had come through a hazardous trek over the Himalayas into India. The Hill-side had a special significance for Tibetans, because of the fact that Thirteenth Dalai Lama had spent his exile in India from 1910 to 1912 following the Chinese invasion of Tibet at that time.[2]

The center was registered as charitable organization under the act of Government of India. Starting off with just four workers, today the center is the home for 130 Tibetan family.[3] The center has been a part of multifarious activities which ranges from handicrafts, training of artisans, and craftsmen. These activities are primarily to the care of the sick, elders and needy destitute.[4] The Center now comprises one créche, one nusery school along with a pre-primary school (up to +2 standard).

  • started on October 1, 1959
  • production of handicrafts is the centre's main activity
  • June 1960, the Centre started a small Nursery School


  1. ^ Darjeeling Tourism
  2. ^ Sudip Basu “Self-Help” among Tibetan Refugees in an Indian Town
  3. ^ Tibetan Refugee self-help centre: Darjeeling : A Report
  4. ^ A brief story on Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Handicraft Center, Darjeeling [1]

External links[edit]