Today countries around the world are battling to curb the spread and grave effect of the Wuhan-originated COVID-19 that has wreaked havoc on the global health and economy. In light of the current crisis, this website has been created to inform and make CTA’s COVID-19 response and relief measures accessible to the public.
Note: The figures are based on secondary sources and may vary. ( 69 Tibetans, 38 Chinese, 1 death – Chinese )
Note: Data received from respective OOTs (Tibetan outside India,Nepal and Bhutan)
Following the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the Department of Health, CTA, proactively issued guidelines on preventive measures and awareness drives beginning 24th January, across the Tibetan settlements in India. When WHO declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11th March 2020, the Department initiated the formation of a COVID-19 Task Force on 19th March 2020 chaired by Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk with Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang and Dr Tsewang Tamdin as its advisory members. To mitigate the potentially catastrophic impact of the disease particularly in Tibetan refugee settlements, sub-committees headed by the Health secretary were formed to carry out various COVID-19 related tasks. This section highlights the tasks carried out by the subcommittees in coordination with respective settlement offices and branch health facilities.
- COVID-19 Pandemic related precautionary measures undertaken in Tibetan Monasteries & Nunneries(part-1)
- COVID-19 Pandemic related precautionary measures taken in Tibetan Monasteries & Nunneries(part-2)
PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES INITIATED BY DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION AND CULTURE (DRC), CTA RELATING TO COVID-19
Chorig Kalon delivers a message on the event of World Buddhist Prayer Meet for the Resolution of COVID 19
May 16, 2020
As requested by the International Buddhist Confederation, Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok, the Vice President of IBC, delivered a video message on the event of World Buddhist Prayer Meet for successfully concluding Global Prayer Week.
Religion Department begins weeklong prayers for the deceased and patients of COVID-19 pandemic
May 11, 2020
Beginning on 8 May, the monks of Nechung Monastery as part of the initiative of the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA have started a weeklong prayer service dedicated to those who died due to the Wuhan-originated COVID-19 pandemic and, those who continue to suffer its impact especially those who are at high risk of contracting the disease.
The weeklong prayer session was broadcasted live on Tibet TV from 7 pm onwards.
Tibetan Buddhist community urged to join Virtual Vesak prayers aimed at resolution of COVID-19 crisis
May 6, 2020
As announced by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) based in Delhi to organise a virtual celebration of Vesak-Buddha Poornima on 7 May and Global Prayer Week for the speedy recovery of COVID-19 victims, the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA has sent a special announcement to all Tibetan monastic Institutions to join the Virtual Vesak Celebration and Global Prayer Week while maintaining the local lockdown rules.
Chorig Kalon Ven. Karma Gelek Yuthok congratulated the Secretary-General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), New Delhi on his initiative in organising the virtual celebration and prayers on Vesak or Buddha Poornima Day and also expressed his support and appreciation to IBC head office for dedicating Global Prayer Week to pray for the victims of COVID-19.
Department of Religion and Culture (DRC) to organise prayer service; calls for details of Tibetans affected by COVID-19
May 1, 2020
As over hundreds of Tibetans have been infected with the Wuhan-originated virus especially in the US and Europe and several have died, the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA issued an announcement calling for the bereaved families and those who are suffering from the disease to share their names with the Department so that the necessary prayer services and rituals can be organised for their benefit.
The prayers were held in Nechung Monastery and Kirti Monastery, Dharamshala in keeping with the central and state government’s guidelines for lockdown.
A new advisory issued by DRC for Tibetan monasteries to observe prayers
April 28, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture, CTA issued an advisory for Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to organise prayers for those affected by the coronavirus in small groups and in strict adherence to the standing guidelines.
Follow-up Announcement from the Religion Department for incense offering (Sangsol)
April 2, 2020
The further announcement was made Calling for the urgent attention of all Tibetans and Tibetan monasteries around the world to observe the incense offering (Sangsol) on every Wednesday and the 10th day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.
Urgent Announcement from DRC for on Incense Offering (Sangsol)
April 1, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture, CTA issued a circular to the Tibetan Monastic institutions and Tibetan People around the world to offer incense (Sangsol) to their respective places to overcome from COVID 19. The Sangsol should be observed every Wednesday and the 10th day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.
Prayer Recitation Notice from DRC for Tibetan Monastic Institutions and Tibetan people around the World for a speedy resolution to the COVID 19 health crisis
March 30, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture, CTA issued an announcement to the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and Tibetans around the world to observe the prescribed prayers for a speedy resolution to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Urgent prayer recitation circular from Department of Religion and Culture
March 23, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture, CTA issued a circular to the Tibetan monastic institutions and the general Tibetan public to accumulate a short prayer prescribed in the announcement for a swift resolution of COVID 19 worldwide
Special programs of DRC with Tibet TV every Wednesday
April 22, 2020
In collaboration with Tibet TV, the Department of Religion and Culture organised a special talk with Geshe Dorji Damdul, the Director of Tibet House in Delhi on “Managing Emotion during the crisis of COVID 19 in Tibet Buddhist Perspective”.
May 6, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture organised a special talk with Geshe Lobsang Dawa, the founder and Director of the Society of Introduction to Buddhism, Nepal on “keeping peaceful mind during COVID 19 Pandemic”
May 13, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture arranged a special talk with Geshe Ngawang Samten, the Vice-Chancellor of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Varanasi on “The Practice of simple Tibetan Buddhist Meditation for keeping stable mental level during COVID 19”.
May 20, 2020
The Department of Religion and Culture arranged a talk with Geshema Delek Wangmo from Dolmaling Nunnery on keeping a peaceful mind through the practice of Tibetan Buddhism during a crisis.
- Advance Relief Sponsorship of INR 163,41,218 distributed towards Tibetan destitute elders and students
- List of Designated Hospitals and COVID-19 Testing Centers
- Food security provided to around 3184 Tibetan destitute and 19645 local Indian destitute by the Tibetan Settlement Offices
- Total contribution of INR 265,33,768 made by Tibetan Settlement Offices towards COVID-19 Relief Fund
- COVID-19 precautionary measures implemented in full force by the Tibetan Settlement Offices in India, Nepal and Bhutan
- Other reports
- Tibetans in exile conducts settlement-wide sanitization following CTA’s directive
- Sanitization drive carried out in Tibetan settlements across India
- Tibetan Career Center (TCC) goes virtual with its youth related program
- Tibetan Settlement Offices of Sonada, Gyalpak, and Shimla distribute dry rations to Tibetans in distress
- Hunsur Settlement Office distributes dry rations worth INR 28,487 to distressed families
- COVID-19 Activities carried out at various Old People’s Homes (OPH)
- COVID-19 precautionary measures and relief distribution in Ravangla Tibetan settlement
- Home department distributes 77 lakh in food security and stipend for 1414 destitute elders and infirm youth
In light of the risk and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tibetan Settlement Offices have been taking necessary measures under the guidance of the DOH.
Major precautionary steps taken by the Tibetan settlements in exile:
Department of Health
Quarantine facilities have been set up in all the Tibetan settlements where the supervisor
equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) daily examines the people at the facility.
COVID-19 emergency committee set up in all the settlements carries out necessary measures
as directed by the CTA. While carrying out awareness programs on preventive measures of
COVID-19, the Tibetan Settlement Offices has also been ensuring the enforcement of directives
received from the Indian government and the CTA.
Sanitization of the Tibetan Settlement Offices and settlement areas are being carried out at the
end of every week and alternate week at times.
Some Tibetan Settlements have also been able to make handmade masks and continue to
distribute it among the settlement members and needy local Indians.
Department of Health
Screening for COVIDd-19 related symptoms such as fever is carried out once a week in the
settlements by the settlement’s nurses and health workers along with volunteers from the
Similar distribution of essential food items such as rice, pulses, flour, salt, butter, cooking oil,
vegetables along with PPE kits were carried out benefiting around 19645 local Indian destitute
within the settlements.
Arrangement of ambulance services and contacts with concerned doctors and nurses and state
hospitals near the settlements have been made in case of medical emergencies.
Since the lockdown, under the directive of the CTA, the Settlement Offices along with the aid
and contributions of the monasteries and non-governmental organizations have so far distributed
essential food items to 3184 Tibetan destitute within the settlements.
The CTA has made available INR 3.3 crore for Wuhan COVID-19 programs benefitting Tibetan communities in India and Nepal. INR 24,340,514 are for activities in India while the community in Nepal receives NPR 13,757,974. Support for this effort is coming from the United States government’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), a long-term donor of the Tibetan refugee community in South Asia. Kashag directed SARD to begin the process of identifying funds to support vulnerable destitute Tibetans on April 2, 2020, and Sikyong directly wrote to the PRM leadership on April 8 as well. This is the first large support package approved by the CTA as the Tibetan community confronts the unprecedented challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
INR 16,289,355 will be spent on health programs in India. Activities being supported through this package include strengthening the hospital infection control and emergency medical service; infection prevention control measures in quarantine facilities; purchasing of test kits, community awareness and sanitization campaign; and strengthening the health workforce. Major activities include:
- Hiring of 40 medical and non-medical staff on contract/stipends for 20 volunteers/fees for 8 mental health counsellors – for 3 months
· Distributing traditional Tibetan medicine package to 11,051 elders
· Emergency medical supplies for 33 health facilities
· Emergency medical supplies for 8 COVID treatment centers
· Supplies and furnishing for 10 quarantine centers
· Rental of 30 ambulances
INR 6,161,789 will be spent for programs under the Home Department. Major activities include:
- Medical supplies and food rations for 700 elders in 21 elder homes
· 2-3 months food security rations for 635 destitute refugees (INR 4000 per person)
· 3 months food security stipends for 155 disadvantaged elders over 65 and living alone (INR 9000 per person)
The package also includes food security stipend for 297 students from destitute households at INR 1,000 per student
The Nepal program includes NPR 2,315,520 for hiring medical and non-medical contract staff and stipends for volunteers; NPR 3,260,000 for food supplies for 6 COVID quarantine centers; medical supplies and food ration for 116 elders in 6 elder homes; Tibetan medicine package for 1500 elders and those with weak immune systems; and NPR 7,282,400 for food security rations for 200 destitute and disabled refugees; 3-month food security stipends for 350 disadvantaged elders over 65 and living alone at NPR 14,400 per person; and food security stipends for 14 students from destitute households at NPR 1,600 per student.
“We are grateful to PRM for making the emergency funding available. While the pandemic poses a huge health risk, it has also placed some of the most vulnerable Tibetans – elders and destitute – at great risk. The CTA leadership has through this package taken care of the immediate healthcare needs and also provided protection to our most vulnerable,” said Kaydor Aukatsang, Chief Resilience Officer and SARD Director.
Kalon’s Message to parents on supporting children’s learning during lockdown
To watch the video, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=238290980557681
Kalon’s Message to educators during lockdown
To watch the video, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/CTATIBETTV/videos/3105529342847672
- Net Safety! Legal & psychological Implications & role of parents
- DOE Guidance on communication between parents and children during lockdown
- DOE Counseling services on emotional, mental well-being and career support for students and parents in lockdown
- After arduous journey from the extreme west to east, 27 stranded students from Arunachal Pradesh finally reunited with family
- DOE brings home yet another group of 7 stranded students from Varanasi
- Department of Education’s Financial Assistance to 93 Stranded Tibetan Students in Vadodara, Gujarat, due to COVID-19 Lockdown
- Last batch of stranded Baroda students safely reach Odisha and Dehradun
- COVID -19 Programmes (English)
- COVID-19 Terminologies
The Department of Security recognizes that there are RC and visa extension-related challenges faced by Tibetans in India as a direct result of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
To address these issues, the Department has taken swift action and issued necessary guidelines as well as helplines to guide and assist the Tibetan community.
The Department of Information and International Relations has been presenting accurate and timely information to the public on Covid-19 through Tibet TV, tibet.net and bod.asia. COVID-19 related Guidelines issued by the Office of Sikyong, Kalons, Secretaries and concerned departments are disseminated through DIIR. Teachings and Counselling by Tibetan Buddhist leaders, Geshes, and psychiatrists as well as online teachings for the Tibetan students under lockdown are broadcasted via Tibet TV.