ITBCI school was established in Kalimpong, India in 1954 by the late Ven. Dhardo Rimpoche for Tibetan refugees coming over the border from Tibet. The school provides an education to children from the poorest refugee families living in Kalimpong, with a unique emphasis on protecting culture and values through teaching traditional arts like music and dance. The school now welcomes and provides a subsidised education to children from many other other ethnic groups, some of whom live at the school.
Tibetan culture is slowly dying out amongst Tibetan communities in exile. Many Tibetan refugees settled in Kalimpong inside the Indian-Tibetan border. Most of these families are poor farmers, earning work as daily labourers on other people's farms. Daily labourers earn around $2 - $2.50 per day. People cannot afford to send their children to fee-paying schools that enable young people to explore their Tibetan Heritage alongside a quality subsidised education.
Our school provides poor families with the opportunity for their children to attend high-quality holistic education that strengthens their heritage. They learn the official syllabus as well as traditional Tibetan arts and culture. Students learn their own language of Tibetan as well as English and Hindi. Around seventy of the students are boarders. These students come from difficult family backgrounds and really benefit from a secure environment to continue their studies.
450 Tibetan refugee children will gain an education. The children will learn their traditional languages and art forms from Tibet and the Himalayan region. Students will gain confidence in extra-curricular activities such as debate, drama and sport. Importantly Tibetan language, art and culture will continue to thrive among the diaspora community in this Himalayan region.