McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamsala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is home to the Tibetan government-in-exile and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and as such it attracts a great number of tourists all year round.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations of northern India, it has become increasingly commercialized over the last few years. One significant effect of economic influx and progress in the town is environmental exploitation and degradation.
Survey Aims & ObjectivesIn an attempt to highlight key environm... read more
Lha hosted a student exchange group from Tulane University, USA, during the month of June. The group of 18 students, led by Mr Michael and his team of tutors, were here for three weeks to explore and learn about the Tibetan community in exile and the local Indian community.
On arrival, the group was welcomed by Mr Jigme Thinley from Lha who gave a presentation about our organisation and the projects undertaken by Lha.
The students attended lectures by a variety of speakers and visited the Central Tibetan Administration, Norbulingka, Tibetan l... read more
Today ( June 5), Lha collaborated with the Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) and the Clean Upper Dharamsala Programme (CUDP) to observe World Environment Day.
The programme started at 10am, where students from the nearby Dharamshala Cantonment School marched around the market to make the public aware of the environmental issues.
This programme was followed by a skit play by Arts Salad. There were around 150 participants, including nearly 100 volunteers, students and staff member members of Lha.
We have distributed brochures on how to manage... read more
Lha's first cultural exchange program this year came to a successful conclusion on May 27. The student group, from Centenary College, Louisiana, USA, consisted of 10 students lead by Professor David Otto and Michael Smith.
During the three week program, the students were introduced and paired with Lha's students where they engaged in a mutual learning program. The Centenary group received lectures from former Tibetan political prisoners and others.
They visited the Central Tibetan Administration's (CTA) complex and the Tibetan library at Ga... read more
On 16th May 2014, the Lha Charitable Trust conducted an awareness talk on HIV/AIDS for the adult students of the Lha language classes. More than 40 students participated in the talk and the question and answer session that followed.
Lha distributed brochures on HIV/AIDS both in English and Tibetan, with a Hindi translation soon to come. HIV/AIDS is a serious issue in Dharamsala, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination.
In order to reduce the stigmatization and discrimination of those living with HIV/AIDS, Lha is working hard to ... read more
Lha has successfully installed its 13th Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purification System as a part of its Clean Water Project on 13th May at Government College of Teachers Education in Dharamsala.
Government College of Teacher Education (GCTE) Dharamsala was founded in October 1956 to meet the growing demand for trained middle and secondary school teachers.
It was affiliated with the Punjab University Chandigarh, but after the reorganization of states in India and the creation of Himachal Pradesh, the College was affiliated with Himachal Prad... read more
Lha has successfully installed its 12th Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purification System as a part of its Clean Water Project on 6th May 2014 at Dawa Rinjue School Society, Herbertpu, Uttarakhand State.
Dawa Rinjue School Society (DRSS) is a co-educational school. DRSS Herbertpur came into existence in 1991 and is affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. The school is located in Herbertpur, a town 35kms away from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand State of India. The school had regular pipe line water supply, but di... read more
Lha has successfully installed its 11th Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Purification System as a part of its Clean Water Project on 6th May 2014 at Sambhota Tibetan School in Paonta, Himachal Pradesh.
Sambhota Tibetan School Paonta Sahib was first established as a primary school in 1968 to provide traditional Tibetan education to the younger generation. After five years it was upgraded as a Senior Secondary School affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Sambhota Tibetan School is located in the Sirmour District of Himachal... read more
Lha has successfully installed its 10th Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purification system under its Clean Water Project. The RO system was installed at the Central School for Tibetans (CST) at Puruwala Tibetan Settlement in Simour, Himachal Pradesh on March 23.
This medium-sized water purification system has a storage capacity of 20 litres of cold water and 2 litres of hot water.
It can provide 15 litres of purified water per hour. This system will benefit 50 students and 10 staff members at the school and the clean water is acces... read more
On January 8, 2014 Lha delivered items of clothing through Dharamshala Rotary Club to Red Cross Society of Kangra District. The clothing was donated during 2013 by various members of the public including volunteers and tourists. The donation was received by Red Cross Secretary O.P. Sharma on behalf of Red Cross Society. Dharamshala Rotary Club President, General Secretary and other Rotary members also attended this event.
The more than 1000 articles of clothing will be distributed by the Red Cross to the needy, especially to the slums in lower ... read more
The final student exchange group to visit Lha this year was a group of 21 students and teachers from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudiios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.
The group arrived in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala on December 11 to spend three weeks exploring the Tibetan refugee community and the local culture here in Dharamshala. They participated in a programme of activities organised by Lha.
On December 16, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, the former Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) gave a talk on Buddhism and n... read more
On the 27th of November 2013 Lha Charitable trust has been able to install its 9th water filtration system at the Central School for Tibetans (CST) in Dalhousie at the request of Health Department, Centre Tibetan Adminstration through the generous donation made by Mr. Luke Ding and his sister Ms. Mary Ding. The reverse osmosis (RO) purification system, one of the most technologically advanced in the area, includes a 500 liter capacity stainless steel tank that can provide more than 100 liters of clean and safe drinking water per hour to student... read more
BackgroundClean drinking water is an essential part in maintaining quality health among any population. Dharamsala's lack of filtered drinking water is significantly contributing to a rise in health problems in both the local Indian community and the Tibetan Refugee community alike. An inadequate drainage and septic system, leaking water pipes, water shortages and polluted drinking water all contribute to the decrease in health that the local community is facing. The most vulnerable members of society, those living below the poverty line, bare ... read more
On October 8, Lha was pleased to organize yet another student group for its Cultural Exchange program. The group consist of 17 student accompanied by 4 teachers from Lycee de Vincendo High School in Reunion Island, France. During their stay here in Dharamsala, they were engaged in various activities and participated widely in programs arranged by Lha.
The first part of the program was to introduce the French Group to the Tibetan Community settled here in Dharamsala. Initially the group visited various exile offices and communities, followed ... read more
On 9th September 2013, a group of 13 social work students from Tulane University School from New Orleans, USA, led by Dr. Ron Marks (Dean) and Dr. Carolyn Weaver, arrived in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, on an exchange programme with Lha.
The exchange programme with Tulane University was started in 2002, and each year brings approximately ten to sixteen groups of foreign students from various countries across the world to McLeod Ganj.After learning about Lha's social work initiatives, the 2013 Tulane student group met with mutual learning partners ... read more
During July, Lha hosted three student groups, one from Rustic Pathways Inn and the other two from Lifeworks International. The Rustic Pathway group participated in the mutual learning program from July 19-22. The groups from Lifeworks International also took part in the various activities of Lha. We paired the groups with our Tibetan students for one-on-one English conversation skills practice, and to enable our group from abroad to get a meaningful experience connecting with local Tibetan refugees from this mutual learning program.
This is a g... read more
Lha's first cultural exchange student group of the year was from Tulane University in New Orleans, USA. The group, consisting of 12 students led by Mr. Michael Smith, arrived on June 7, 2013, to explore the Tibetan refugee and local Indian communities during their three-week stay in North India. As it was their first visit to Dharamsala, we first introduced them to Lha. We then took them around town to explore the Tibetan community, including visits to various departments of the CTA, the Tibet Library and other parts of Dharamsala. The group al... read more
On Wednesday, June 12, Lha organized a creativity workshop at Gangkyi Petoen Day School taught by Lha's student exchange group from Tulane University in New Orleans, USA. More than 100 students, ranging from 1st to 5th grade, participated.
All of the art supplies were generously donated by Ms. Kate Neuschaefer of artsforthenations.org based in Colorado, USA. We are very grateful for her contribution and her support of Lha. We used about half of the kits that she donated and plan to use the remaining kits in future projects at the school. ... read more
On July 6th, 2011, Lha opened its Community Soup Kitchen in its new building, Ahimsa House. This became the first soup kitchen in Dharamsala that serves low-cost and nutritious meals to the Tibetan refugee community. Refugees take advantage of this beneficial service for a nominal fee of 15 rupees per person per meal, but meals are completely free for those who cannot afford to pay this amount. 91% of Lha Community Kitchen users pay 15 rupees for lunch, while 9% get lunch for free.
In June 2013 a survey of 47 users of the community soup kitche... read more
Moving a step further with the Lha clean water project, the Lha Charitable Trust in collaboration with the Rotary Club Dharamshala, successfully installed its 8th filter water system at the Gamru village school on 6th June 2013. A local Indian school initiated in 2004, the Gamru village school aims to provide education to underprivileged Indian children from migrating families near lower Dharamshala. Supporting 142 students ranging from nursery to 8th grade as well as 13 staff members, including eight teachers, the installation of this filter ... read more
Nearly twelve hundred Tibetan refugees provided with Safe Drinking water in the past ten days. Lha staff and volunteers recently returned from spending the weekend on 4th May 2013 in the Bir Tibetan settlement, located three hours away in the Dharamsala, where they were successful in installing our sixth drinking water filtration unit. It was placed at the Central Tibetan Administration's (CTA) Sambhota Tibet School in Bir/Chuatra. The unit was located adjacent to the kitchen which serves the three hundred and fifteen students who must board t... read more
Lha understands the growing number of unemployment challenges in our community. That is why one of our prime objectives is to give vocational training to local people so that they can start their own business and generate new job opportunities.
In April 2013, Lha once again initiated the 15th and 16th massage courses with the help of a certified massage therapist and instructor, Laurie Proscia.
With Laurie’s efforts and Lha’s initiative, we now proudly announce that we completed our 15th and 16th massage courses. We certified ni... read more
On March 20, 2013, the volunteers and staff of Lha were thrilled to install our fifth institutional size drinking water filtration unit at a Tibetan school located just a few hundred meters from our offices. Since most of the students there are quite young, this installation will protect this very vulnerable population from serious water-borne disease during the upcoming monsoon. Like all of the units used for this project, this one has the capability of producing one hundred liters of pure drinking water every hour. A five ... read more
From December 7th to 30th of 2012, we hosted our last exchange student group in Dharamsala, visiting students from Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe (ITESM CSF) Mexico for a cultural exchange program. Under this program we, “Lha”, organised many different activities for them.
Since it was their first visit here in this town, the first thing we did was to introduce “Lha” to them. Later on, we took them around sight seeing to different places included Tibetan Government complex, Tibetan Libra... read more
The Installation of a brand new filter water system was celebrated by the students of TCV Day School in McLeod Ganj on the 14th of November, coinciding with Children’s day.
The filter system is an RO+UV+ UF and TTS, considered one of the best filtered water systems available in the area. This filtration system has the 500-liter capacity steel tank and can provide more than 100 liters of clean and safe drinking water per hour to the students, their teachers and staff members.
The filtered water is to be used not only for drinking but als... read more
The gift of vision is something that enriches life and highlights the small pleasures of every day existence; Lha's eye care project-2012 was put into action in response to the above sentiment. The project is meant to benefit people who have limited resources and are underprivileged in terms of both financial means as well as awareness of options available to improve sight.
The project, which lasted for a month and a half, included the testing of 105 people of all ages, free of cost, and provided quality eye glasses to a total of 80 individual... read more
On 18th October 2012, The children of Mewoen Tsuglak Petoen (model school*) School can finally reach turn on the tap and get clean drinking water now that representatives from Lha Charitable Trust have successfully installed a brand new water filtration system. The filter is an RO+UV+ UF and TTS, considered one of the best filtered water systems available in the area, and was provided by the US-based Himalaya Village Fund. It will provide more than 100 liters of clean and safe drinking water per hour to the students and their teachers and staf... read more
Since 2002, Tulane University's social work students have been coming to India for a one month program in Dharmasala and its surrounding areas. This year, 16 students, 3 professors, and 2 group leaders came to Dharamsala led by Professor Ron Mark. For two weeks, the Tulane students spent time, one-on-one, with Tibetan students from Lha learning about each other's cultures. For the Tibetans, it proved an excellent venue for practicing basic English conversation skills.
The Tulane students delved deeper into understanding the Tibetan situation b... read more
This month, Lha welcomed three cultural exchange groups to Dharamsala. In early July, a new group of 11 adults from Kentucky, led by Professor Ken Casey, joined Lha at Ahimsa House. They spent two weeks in the McLeod Ganj area, with one week’s travel to Bir and Tso Pema.
In mid-July Lha partnered with two groups of high school students from Lifeworks International, an organization providing summer community service opportunities to teenagers from all over the world. Led by Wen King, owner of McLeod Ganj’s popular restaurant and community... read more
In June 2012, students and teachers alike gathered in the kitchen at Sambhota Model Gangkyi Day School to watch as representatives from Lha Charitable Trust successfully installed a brand new water filtration system. The filter is an RO+UV+ UF and TTS, considered one of the best filtered water systems available in the area, and was provided by the US-based Himalaya Village Fund. It will provide more than 100 litres of clean and safe drinking water per hour to the 209 students and their 25 teachers and staff members
The water is to be used not... read more
After four busy weeks in India, the members of Lha's second Cultural Exchange program of 2012 headed home this weekend, bringing with them a wealth of new memories and experiences. The 14 students from Tulane University arrived in Dharamsala on June 8th after a whirlwind tour of Delhi. Each day they met with their Tibetan mutual learning partners in the mornings. Most of the Lha students they were paired with were not fluent in English but they were all very enthusiastic about learning and sharing their knowledge with others. As the Tulane stu... read more
Every year different groups from around the world ask H.H. the Dalia Lama for teachings, whether on Introduction to Buddhism or Training of Mind, Peace, analysis of religious texts, etc. Most of these teachings happen here in Dharamsala at his temple. With every teaching initiated, local Tibetans will be there for his blessing, tourists will be there who are either interested in Buddhism or wanting to experience a different culture. Lots of domestic tourists (mostly Indian) come as well; wanting to see the “Dalai Lama” they have always heard o... read more
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. Acupuncture, according to traditional Chinese medicine, helps stimulate these points and can correct the flow of “qi” (life energy, life-force, or energy flow) through channels known as meridians (paths through which the life-energy known as "qi" flows.)Acupuncture in our Tibetan society is not so popular; many people have heard of it but never actually experienced... read more
Lha’s First Cultural Exchange Program of 2012 Wraps Up Successfully. May 31, 2012 – Amid the buzz of happy chatter, clinking forks, and laughter, the participants of Lha’s first cultural exchange program of 2012 said goodbye to their Tibetan mutual learning partners last night, after a month-long stay in McLeod Ganj. The farewell party took place at their home away from home, Lha’s Ahimsa House, and lasting memories – along with emails and other contact info – were taken away by all.
The 12 students from Centenary College in Louisiana, USA, ar... read more
Lha Charitable trust is proud to announce that it will take over management of Contact Magazine starting in May, 2012! Recognized by Lonely Planet and other international travel resources, Contact has been a very popular, free publication for Tibetan issues and community information in Dharamsala for over 14 years.It is one of the longest-running Tibetan publications in the area, and provides local residents, as well as international visitors, with news and issues centered on the interests and occurrences of this community.
Contact has been ... read more
Two years ago, Lha began its "Clear Vision" program to provide free optometrist appointments and corrective lenses to residents of McLeod Ganj. This health care program came to an end when the funds were depleted. This year, thanks to the generous donations from Miss Aubrey Lynne to the Clear Vision program and Frances Phares of Louisiana to the Dental project, we have been able to both continue our provision of eye care and expand the program to also encompass dental care.
Since September 2011 Lha has provided 46 residents with eye appointmen... read more