Library Furniture and Equipment at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education in Bangalore - India

Project location: India, Bangalore
Project start date: June 2011 - Project end date: December 2012
Project number: 2011-25
Beneficiary: Tibetan Children’s Village

The success of the school education in the TCV schools is throwing up a glaring problem at the college level. Currently, there are over 1238 school graduates undergoing degree courses in various Indian colleges under TCV scholarship. They are scattered in 100 different colleges. And this scattering and isolation is creating a huge educational problem that cries for a solution. Some of the concerns are as follows:

1. The students find themselves isolated and cut off from the Tibetan communities and on their own, without any cultural and personal support. This creates psychological and social problems, which hinder their learning.
2. The quality of the education they receive is poor because of the staggered system of the Indian college admissions, where money, cut-off percentages and connections play an insidious role. Due to this, Tibetan students end up studying in mediocre Indian colleges.
3. There is a general feeling, especially among the older generation that the younger generation are not learning and adopting the culture in terms of their behavior and outlook in life. Their exposure to other cultures is taking a toll in the young people's lives. The sense of focus and purpose of their education is not focused. They do not seem to be rooted in their own sense of identity and culture from whence should spring the urgency to widen their horizons in life.
4. And, most importantly, the Tibetan students who join Indian colleges when they leave our schools are totally cut-off from the study of Tibetan language and culture - the essence of which is Buddhism.

The project goal is to construct a library and administration block at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education in Bangalore, India.

TCV has become synonymous with the preservation and promotion of the rich cultural heritage of Tibet and in the struggle of the Tibetan people in exile. The organisation seeks to provide modern education along with a deep and intimate understanding of the rich cultural heritage of Tibet. During the last fifty one years of its existence, TCV has pioneered and initiated a number of steps to further the cause of education for Tibetan refugee children in exile. Latest to its credit include Tibetanization of the school curriculum where the medium of instruction is Tibetan. All the academic subjects like Math, Science, History, Political Science, Philosophy etc. are taught in Tibetan language with English as the second language. This is mainly to emphasize the commitment to the preservation of the rich Tibetan linguistic heritage.
Since an end to their exile is not imminent, TCV also place particular emphasis on integration of the children into the country of their exile India. Thus in their upbringing and education there is a strong dual perspective: that of qualifying the children and youths for socio-economic and professional integration into the Indian environment, and at the same time, preparing them for reintegration into their native country and society, Tibet. This duality is an important step in the social and cultural sustainability of the entire work of the institution.

Currently, there are 82 Tibetan schools in exile. Every year, on an average, 1000 students graduate at the senior secondary level (class XII) in different streams. TCV alone produces around 500 class XII graduates. Aside from the centers for traditional Tibetan education and culture, they do not have a single college for the general mass of the students. Without a college, most of the graduates, per force, have to join various Indian colleges, without a question on the relevance and quality of the education. But it has been going on long enough to affect the quality of our college going students and their future. The proposed college will create this alternate study center and make a difference in their educational growth.
What the Tibetans dearly possess is their rich and unique cultural heritage. But today, to a large number of students, after their secondary or senior secondary education, they loose the opportunity to continue to learn various aspects of our culture - the essence of which is Buddhism. This is no longer tenable and the proposed college will be established to fill this gap - as a first step - in the education of the school graduates.
Due to the widening interest in the study of Tibetan culture - especially in Buddhist philosophy - from all over the world that has come about through the compassionate teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other revered masters and teachers from the Tibetan community, there is a huge potential of greater interaction, exchange and study of ideas that will benefit all concerned. The proposed college will play a very important role in making this dialogue possible by providing the atmosphere and the environment needed to enhance learning for all.
It is well known that institutions make a difference in the development and progress of civil society. The Tibetan society is no exception. It needs institutions to develop the communities in exile so that the quality of people's live improves and there are greater and wider opportunities for the young to grow and flower due to ever expanding scope in using their potentials. The proposed college will be a pointer towards institution building to evolve Tibetan community in exile so that the fundamental requirements of maintaining its identity and culture will be further enhanced in Diaspora.
The proposed college will be central to improving the quality of education to school graduates from the various Tibetan schools. If Tibetan education in exile has to have a lasting imprint on the future generations of Tibetans inside and outside, and when the occasion comes for them to return to Tibet to shape their own destiny as a people and culture, the proposed college will be seminal in the re-construction and renewal of both traditional and modern education - a system of Tibetan higher education designed by Tibetans for Tibetans.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. The construction of the library will help provide an excellent learning environment at the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education, catering to the educational needs of about 3000 Tibetan youths. It will also help provide an integrated Tibetan study program with suitable liberal Arts education along with human resource development programs; enabling the students to launch deeper into their area of specialization so that they will be able to make a difference in their community and the world at large.

At the same time, the project will help and support the works of the Tibetan Children's Villages in its efforts to save the distinct culture, religion and identity of the Tibetan people. TCV is currently looking after the upbringing, welfare and education of almost 16,000 poor and destitute refugee children and youths in India, majority of whom are young children who have fled into exile from their homeland in search of better upbringing, education and opportunity which is not available in their own homeland.

Furthermore, the project aims to bring out the following results:

• Promote disciplined inquiry in all areas of study offered in the college
• Foster excellence in scholarship and learning through inquiry and research
• Promote interdisciplinary studies across the curriculum
• Enthuse the students towards study of Tibetan language and culture
• Provide multiple points of access to enable them to study, reflect and practice through special programs

The project will have a multiplier impact as well. It will indirectly benefit around 100 manual labourers who will benefit from temporary employment in the construction work during the project duration and local businesses, craftsmen and manufacturers who will benefit from the production and sale of construction materials, equipment and furniture. In addition, the project will benefit in recruitment of personnel as permanent employees, ranging from teachers to administrative staff, cooks and helpers. Many families in the local community will benefit from the project in getting access to the library facility in the near future.

The Tibetan Children's Villages (TCV), India, established on May 17, 1960 - in the wake of the invasion and occupation of Tibet by the Chinese - is an integrated charitable organization where the destitute and other Tibetan children live in harmony and security. In this holding environment, they study, reflect and analyze their potentials to flower into good human beings.True to its initial vision set forth by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the mission of TCV is to ensure that all Tibetan children under its care receive a sound education, a firm cultural identity, become self-reliant and contributing members of the Tibetan community and the world at large.
Over the years, the TCV organization has grown into the largest autonomous body in the Tibetan community that caters to school and related educational services. Besides, the TCV schools that are established, out of necessity in different parts of India (currently 19 schools), have matured into full-fledged recognized and reputed schools. And, in several significant ways, TCV has set the pace and tempo of the educational endeavors of the Tibetan community in exile and has made and continues to make a difference in the reach and quality of school education. Besides its main thrust of school education, the organization has reached out, time and again, to the needs of the Tibetan community through its Outreach Program Office.
TCV has long-standing experience both with the care and education of exile Tibetan children and youths as well as with the planning and design, development and construction of new children's villages as well as individual hostel and school buildings. In terms of services and human resources, TCV Head Office has placed in the school a separate "Management Council" with corresponding and adequate experienced staff to directly manage the affairs of the villages and implement the various activities (education, health, foster-parents, etc.). This is the practice for all branch villages and projects of TCV and this has proved to be the most efficient and effective method. Since its inception 51 years ago, TCV Head Office and its individual "management administrations" are now managing 5 children's villages, 7 residential school, 6 day schools, 9 day care centres, 3 vocational training centres, a further studies scholarship program, an outreach sponsorship program and the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education (College Project in Bangalore) reaching out to over 16,000 Tibetan children and youths in exile.

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