Dharamshala has a school for the differently abled Tibetan children

By Hemant Chauhan, ANI, January 11, 2007

Dharamshala, India -- Living an exiled life in India, Tibetans are running a special school for the differently-abled Tibetan children in Dharamshala town of Himachal Pradesh.

Founded in 1999 by Nawang Lhamo, a Tibetan Parliamentarian-in-exile, the school besides uplifting the differently-abled children also provides a homely environment to them.

Fifty children, who are either physically or mentally challenged, study and learn various skills at this special school.

"It has been one year and one month here. I have been learning painting here. They are teaching us very well," said Tenzin Namgyar, a differently-abled boy.

"We are very happy here, there are lot of children here that's why I feel really good," said Tsering Dolma, another student.

Along with normal studies, differently abled children are being taught to be independent.

"We have offered them many courses in which they learn various things that include painting stitching, knitting. We teach them incense stick making and paper recycling as well so that they can do their own business in future and be on their own," said Tsering Dolkar, manager of the school.

Besides training, boarding and medical facilities are also being taken care of by the school. The school imparts Buddhist spiritual preaching to the children at a temple within the school compound.

This school also helps those poor families, who cannot afford the special needs of such children.

More than 8,000 Tibetans in-exile consider Dharamshala to be their second home.

The Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama set up his seat of power in Dharamshala after he and his followers fled to India in 1959, nine years after China's occupation of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama has since been campaigning for greater autonomy for Tibet.