The Dekyiling Tibetan Settlement was founded by the government of India and the Tibetan government in exile to provide homes for Tibetan refugees from Bhutan. In 1980, the Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) purchased 33 acres of land on the outskirts of Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Soon thereafter, a tent city sponsored by the Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief (SOIR-IM) appeared. These newcomers began to settle in, and build their new homes.
With a new home, came the need to build a new livelihood. In 1984, the Dekyiling Tibetan Handicraft Cum Training and Charitable Society began employing and training carpet weavers. TRAS paid for training facilities and several weaving and tailoring trainings over the ensuing years. In the 1990s, they began producing more handwoven cloths and Tibetan aprons. Through this society, many Tibetans have been able to preserve their culture and traditional weaving techniques, all while earning enough money to support themselves and their families.
TRAS’ involvement with the Dekyiling Tibetan Settlement includes the purchasing and reselling of Tibetan crafts here in Canada. We aim to support the hardworking families, as well as offer our members the opportunity to own one of these magnificent creations!
TRAS also took over supporting the Handicraft Creche from 2004, after the local government ceased its funding. This day care centre was built for the women working in the centre. This allowed them to work full-time while two ayas (care-givers) provided education, attention, nutrition, and love to their children. This service was especially appreciated by those without older relatives who could help with childcare. With far fewer new arrivals from Tibet, there are no young women with toddlers coming to learn how to weave, so TRAS’ support for the creche is currently not needed.
In addition to the above contributions, Dekyiling is a partner with the TRAS Scholarship Fund, as well as the child sponsorship program. These are ongoing projects that are funded yearly, and have yielded great results! We are grateful to the Dekyiling settlement for helping us assist these children and bright pupils. We look forward to what the next years will bring!