Traditional handicrafts centre helps Tibetans-living-in-exile to become self reliant

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Dharamsala, Aug 7 (ANI): Tibetan handicrafts centre, a charitable institution run by the Tibetan village school in Dharamsala imparts vocational training to Tibetans-living-in-exile to help them become self reliant.

Tibetan village school is an integrated community in exile, for education of orphans, destitutes and children who escape from Tibet.

With over 16000 Tibetan children under its care in various branches all over India, it runs the handicrafts-cum-vocational training centres for the preservation and promotion of Tibetan art and culture.

Traditional carpets and other handicrafts are manufactured in these centres. The centre also provides training to the specially abled who otherwise would not be able to fend for themselves. The first of such centres was set up in Dharamsala in 1974.

"It was first established in 1974 with the main motive of preserving and promoting Tibetan culture," said Tenzin Dhadon, general manager, Tibetan Handicraft Centre.

The centres currently have a total strength of 131 trainees and apprentices and 66 staff members and employees.

It also gives training and provides jobs to new arrivals from Tibet who are too old to go to school or get a job.

The centre also caters to the need of those children who are not academically very bright and are unable to clear High school or senior secondary. Such children are given vocational training so that they can become self-reliant.

"The purpose of the centre is to help children who cannot go for modern education, so they can go into handicrafts. Those who are not able to pass class 12 and class 10, they are missing their academic scope and future. So for those children, we have the vocational training centre," says Kelsang, art teacher.

The products made in these centres are either sold locally in a showroom run by the centre or sent to other parts of the country.

The proceeds from the sales go to the educational fund of Tibetan refugee children. The artisans are paid monthly wages. By Akhilesh Bharti (ANI)

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