Archived Projects

Munsel-ling School Passive Solar Heating

For more than 20 years, TRAS has supported the 500 students and staff at Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley in northern India. Residents of Spiti Valley experience harsh winter conditions, with temperatures often plunging to -30°C and below.

For the students at Munsel-ling, staying warm is a daily challenge for many months of the year. In mountain deserts like the Spiti Valley, firewood is expensive and hard to come by. Although the smoke-free, fuel-efficient rocket stoves have massively improved the living conditions at Munsel-ling School, the temperatures in the Spiti Valley are so frigid that polythene sheets were laid along the side of each

building each year to generate solar heat. Because new sheets needed to be purchased and installed each year, this was not a sustainable solution.

TRAS is fundraising to support the installation of a passive solar wall to heat the junior girls’ dormitory, which houses around 80 students. This fixture will create an 80×8 ft. buffer zone of stone, concrete, and very large windows, which will heat the interior of the building and provide a bulwark against harsh winter winds.

Being a desert, there is little precipitation during the coldest months, but lots of sunshine. When the dormitory was built, the long wall was positioned to face south; the new buffer will act as a conservatory to warm the actual dormitory building. A similar wall has already been built against the boys’ and senior girls’ dormitories with great success.

Please consider donating to TRAS to support the health, education, and wellbeing of these children.

Total funding required: $18,436

Will you help?

To donate to the Passive Solar Heat Project click here

Dekyiling Handicraft Centre Computers

2021 Project # 338

Dekyiling submitted a request for assistance in replacing their outdated office computers.

“Today, I am here to make a special request for the administration section that we are running our office works mostly from the desk of the Manager and the Accountant/Secretary for the daily administrative and welfare work of the Society. Dekyiling Tibetan Handicraft Society was established in the year 1982 in the northern Indian town of Dehradun with the aims and objective to promote Tibetan traditional Arts & Crafts and its preservation. The society has been successful to live up to the expectations of the people with very kind support from our donors/supporters without which it had not been at this stage now. So we express our sincere gratitude to all those who have extended their valuable support for children’s education, grannies, welfare and projects at the time of need.

Coming to the proposal, the administrative working computer set (desktop) of both the Manager and the Accountant/Secretary are quite outdated models of 2012 which often creates problems causing loss of saved data/documents resulting in administrative obstacles and disturbances. Hence, we request you for funding of 2 desktop computers which are costing around Rs.46,100 X 2 sets= INRs.92,200 as of today if the cost does not fluctuate. We are sure that your good office will look into our proposal favourably and help us for a better working of our office.”

The CTA is no longer funding admin costs for the small settlements in India. As you can imagine handicraft sales are a way down due to the COVID pandemic so they did not have the available funds for this purchase.

TRAS was able to fund this project – $1,626

Dekyiling reported in December 2021 the successful installation of two computers.

Munse-ling School Flush Toilets

2020-2021 Project # 329

TRAS is a long-time supporter of the Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley, in northern India, since it opened in 1996.

In 2018 the School constructed 12 dry toilets with urinals for the boys. The toilets were very useful during the winter but during the summer they created a dreadful smell around the school and campus.

Early in 2020 Munsel-ling School approached TRAS for help with building a permanent block of flush toilets for girls and boys. The Indian Government is now very active in working towards the health and sanitation of the students in the schools.  So with TRAS promising half the needed funds , Munsel-ling was able to obtain the other half from the government, and  construction started when the road to the Valley opened in the early spring. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic all construction has been stopped, and the project was on hold until at least later in the spring of 2021.

Construction restarted in 2021 and a large block of toilets were built incorporating the flush toilets for use in milder weather and the dry latrine toilets for use in the freeze of winter.

TRAS raised $5,000 to cover the funds sent in 2020 and an additional $3,970 when the building restarted. The project was completed in 2021.

Emergency COVID funding for Tibetans in India

Tibetans in India urgently need oxygen and essential medical supplies to treat the growing numbers of COVID-19 patients.  We’ve promised to help! 

Photo courtesy of The Tibetan Journal

TRAS has promised to raise $10,000 right away and a further $10,000 as soon as possible to supply the Tibetan hospitals with lifesaving oxygen supplies and to help the COVID-19 Care Centres with medical supplies and care.  They are supporting themselves as much as they can – can we reach out to give them a helping hand?

$1,000 will buy a lifesaving oxygen concentrator. 

$500 will help supply a Care Centre.

COVID-19 has now struck the Tibetan communities in India in spite of their early precautions and careful plans for keeping safe.  Dharamsala and Dehradun/Dekyiling settlements have been particularly hard hit.  The Tibetan hospitals in those two communities are looking after the severe cases and desperately need help to supply lifesaving oxygen.  Oxygen concentrators will be extremely useful during the pandemic to give a continuous supply of oxygen to the critically ill patients and can be re-used for years.

Eight of the small Tibetan health facilities in India have been designated COVID-19 Care Centres for the mild and moderate cases.  Funds are urgently needed to help these health facilities to procure essential medicines, food for patients in isolation, testing kits, PPE kits, additional emergency staff.

Let’s provide our Tibetan friends with all we can to help them save lives!

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Thank you!