Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center Overview
Home to the Tibetan refugees, sick, elderly and needy destitute… the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center today houses 130 Tibetan family who mostly earn their bread and butter by producing traditional handicrafts like Buddha idols, various Tibetan sculptures, musical instruments, masks, thangka painting and many more. It is located at hillside Lebong in Darjeeling that has a historical significance where the thirteenth Dalai Lama had spent his exile in India from 1910 to 1912. It is a must visit place in Darjeeling for tourists having keen interest in Indo-Tibetan culture and their lifestyle.
This center was established on October 2nd, 1959 for rehabilitation of Tibetans who followed Dalai Lama and escaped their homeland during the period of mayhem. In order to sustain living, they adopted the principle of self help. The center is located on a hill top that can be approached from the Lebong Cart Road. You can see Tibetan men and women making exquisite hand crafted items like woolen carpets, shawls, carved wooden crafts, leather items and more. There is an outlet at the center from where you can buy these items.