Lha community soup kitchen opened on 6th July

Lha Community Soup Kitchen at Lha’s new building, the Ahimsa House, opened on 6th July 2011 commemorating the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The day was celebrated with a special lunch of nutritious food and filtered drinking water served to 37 people. Such would be 1st of its kind in Dharamsala and the exiled Tibetan community. This lunch service of nutritious food and filtered drinking water will be provided to approximately 35 needy people on a daily basis for a minimal cost of 15rs per person and for those who cannot afford to pay, the meal will be free of charge from 7thJuly onward.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT:

The sole aim of this project is to help Tibetan refugees who are in need of a more nutritious diet, thus improving their health and livelihood. Food is one of the basic necessities of life and here at Lha, with this project, we are striving to help the community by providing them access to healthier, more nutritious meals. Especially here in Dharamsala, a Tibetan refugee community, unlike other Tibetan settlements, Tibetans here face various problems related to maintaining their livelihood, specifically related to housing, food, and employment.  Dharamsala is a tourist destination for travelers around the world.  Although travelers are welcomed in the area, their interest in the region drives up the cost of living, making it relatively costly for dwellers in this region to live.

Dharamsala is greatly populated by Tibetans and has the highest unemployment rate, 32% according to the Demographic of Tibet survey. Such hurdles deprive many from eating healthy, nutritious food. The region also receives many new comers who flee Tibet every year, and is the primary transition spot for refugees. Many Tibetans from different places visit here for various purposes like to attend religious preachings, to study, to address medical needs, amongst other reasons. Hence, Dharamsala becomes an important meeting place for not only travelers but also other Tibetans-in-exile living in India.

This project started last year with the support of some key contributors. Anoop Jain, from the U.S., generously accepted Lha’s request to help raise money for the cause; he is the primary fund raiser for the project.  Tsering Palden Tasham with the Verein Tibetfreunde group from Switzerland also contributed in the initial stage of the project. In addition, we are receiving funds from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was graciously introduced to us by former volunteers Milton and Mimi Burke, to help us continuously run this project. We are grateful beyond words to all the above mentioned individuals, institutions, and various supporters.  Without whose contributions this project would not be possible. We truly appreciate your love and support. Thank you very muc