Welfare Division is categorized into three subsections:
- Poverty Alleviation
- Old People’s Home and Sponsorship
- Youth Empowerment Support
1) Poverty Alleviation
Despite the great progress and development of the Tibetan refugees (regarded as one of the most successful stories of refugees throughout the world) owing to the well-established organisation and rehabilitation, poverty still lingers on. Prior to the first-ever poverty survey in 1994, it was assumed that poverty was a generally prevalent phenomenon in the Tibetan community and addressed as such. The poverty review and survey undertaken in 2002 identified the poor into four categories and recommended suitable measures for each.
The categories are:
- Poor aged and frail,
- Poverty owing to Children,
- Poverty owing to sickness and frailty
- Poverty owing to lack of capital.
- According to the latest review conducted on the ‘Poverty Alleviation, the Kashag has issued guidelines to withdraw the last category i.e. Poverty owing to lack of capital with effect from 2nd April 2008.
The criteria for poverty was mainly based on the ‘less than a dollar per capita per day’ standard, which identified about 2,100 individuals and is still increasing, under the poor aged and frail category, which forms between the age group of 65 years and above (60 years in case of aged persons suffering from sickness under similar circumstance).
Traditionally, emotionally and rationally, it becomes a must that we look after the welfare of the aged, many of whom had to suffer the brutalities and suffer the trauma of exile in an alien world devoid of skills and host country language. Many of them had actually sacrificed their near and dear ones and gambled their life to fight for Tibet in their prime without the benefit of security in life. It becomes our duty and pleasure to help them when in need of help.
Objective: To support the poor and needy elders by providing monthly stipends and to look after the welfare of 14 Old Peoples Homes under our care.
Measures taken: Adopt a Granny or Grandad Program
Central Tibetan Relief Committee, a relief wing under the Department of Home formed to look after the welfare and socio-economic development of Tibetan refugees in exile then started a sponsorship program “Adopt a granny or Granddad” in order to achieve a part of its objectives.
Our welfare section undertakes this very program to help these elderly Tibetans who resisted the initial invasion of their homeland: these are the exiles that forged a life in a foreign land, preserving the Tibetan cultural heritage. As refugees, the exile Tibetans do not have access to conventional programs like pension funds or social security and their traditional support structure, the extended family, is often too stressed to help. This adoption program provides elderly poor and needy Tibetans with the means to live with dignity and respect.
Under this program, we are looking after the welfare of poor and needy Tibetan elders scattered over 53 different settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan by providing monthly sponsorship money to meet their basic requirements. As far as possible, we find sponsors for each elder who adopt them either as their granny or granddad.
As far as possible, they are given stipends and encouraged to live with their families, for they have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to the younger generations. Many of them, who are single, are catered for Old Peoples Home (around 14 Old Peoples Home, scattered in India and Nepal, with direct CTRC control). We also look after these Old Peoples Home and help them in meeting their running expenses by again finding sponsors for the elders or seeking donations for the OPH.
Our ‘Adopt a Granny or Granddad’ sponsorship program has proved very successful in helping thousands of elderly Tibetans to lead a decent life with dignity and respect at a stage when there is no source of income for them to carry on their livelihood due to lack of pension funds or social security. At present, there are around 2100 beneficiaries under this program, excluding elders living at OPH and ex-army personnel. This program would not have been successful without the philanthropic support of various donors and therefore, CTRC would very much like to convey our heartfelt thanks to all the kind donors for their generous support towards our community
2) Old People’s Home and Sponsorship
3) Youth Empowerment Support (YES) was previously known as PADME “Promotional Agency for Development of Micro Enterprises”. It was initially started with the objective of extending a micro-credit loan fund for youths under the Office of Planning Commission in 1977. In view of administrative reform, the responsibility for managing the loan fund was transferred to the Department of Home on April 7 2003. Later on, the department developed it into a Youth Empowerment Support Program (YES), as it is known these days.
The overall goal (vision) of the program is to make Tibetan youths productive and independent to be self-employed in various trades and skills. However, its specific objectives are to promote gainful and self-employment to school drop-outs and unemployed youths in the exile communities with the following strategies:
▪ Empower Tibetan youths through appropriate career guidance and promotion and support of self-managed enterprises
▪ Motivate the youth to have a positive outlook and engage in diverse economic activities
▪ Impart relevant skill training
▪ Provide soft start-up loans to set up micro-enterprises
Every year Department of Home or the Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) provides Skill Training Opportunities to about 100-10 unemployed Tibetan youths, mostly from India. Youths from Nepal and Sikkim areas could not be incorporated into this project due to some unavoidable difficulties involved.
All the trainees are provided free residential facilities at the Institute for Small Trade Learning, Neelamangala, in Bengaluru, South India. Those interested in doing the training should register at their respective Settlement Office before the deadline set by them. The settlement office will then collect all the applicant’s forms which must be sent to the Department of Home by the deadline specified. Forms received thereafter will not be entertained.
Employment-generating courses, including a diploma program in hairstyling, medical transcription, a certificate in retail execution (salesman), combined fast track in beauty therapy, carpentry and tailoring, would be offered.
Besides beauty therapy, carpentry, tailoring, and medical transcription today has become a well-paid and highly demanded job. A beginner starts with a monthly income of around Rs. 8000/- and as the speed and skill improve, the earnings will also get increased accordingly.
Technologically oriented courses, such as a diploma in computer engineering, a certificate in mobile phone technology, a diploma in electrical engineering, a certificate in photography, a certificate in multi-media, a diploma in hardware and network engineering and a Microsoft certification in system engineering, would also be provided at different institutions around Bangalore.
The trainees can get a plethora of employment scopes, including setting up mechanical shops for solving electrical and mechanical problems in the settlements, rendering computer services, photography, web design and media publishing, and opening up one’s own beauty parlours.
Carpentry, Tailoring, Beautician and Hairdressing courses are being offered at the ISTL Nelamangla itself. Whereas, Computer-related courses and other technical courses are offered at different Institutions around Bangalore city.
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICE (CRS) *
Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the country. It is administered by a Board of Bishops and laypeople and is staffed by men and women committed to the Catholic Church’s apostolate of helping those in need. It maintains strict standards of efficiency and accountability. Donations of US people to the poor and needy in cash are being used to purchase food commodities by USAID (United States Agency for International Development). The food commodities that we received were requisitioned by CRS.
CRS came to India through an Indo – US bilateral agreement in the year 1951 with the opening of four zonal offices (Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad). The regional office has been stationed in New Delhi. CRS works in partnership with other developmental organizations, which are referred to as Counterpart Organisations (CPO). CPO, in turn, works with several other NGOs, which are referred to as Operating Partners Organisations (OPO). Before entering into a partnership, all the parties need to reach an agreement. The agreement between CRS and CPO is called the CRS-CPO agreement and the agreement between CPO and OPO is called the CPO-OPO agreement.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) is one of the CPOs that has entered into an agreement with CRS and has about 50 OPOs presently operating under it. These OPOs include schools, monasteries, nunneries, settlements, OPHs (old people’s homes) and others. The programs (Title-II) covered under the OPOs are Nursery and Creche (NC), School Feeding (SF), Residential Institution (RI/BP) and Individual Health Care (IHC). The total number of beneficiaries for all the above–mentioned programs for the fiscal year 2009 is 13,032.
* This program was CLOSED in August 2011
Sakhang Dikshi Kyarship
Click here for the announcement on Sakhang Dikshi Kyarship (Review of Housing Rules) in Tibetan Text. This announcement to the settlement officers was sent by the newly formed High-Level Committee for the review of Housing Rules.
Ton Nyan (Crop Failure)
Click here for the Announcement on Ton Nyan (Crop Failure) in Tibetan version.