From: President, TCV Head Office

Dear Sponsors and Friends,

Since my last letter dated 25th July, 2020, the Wuhan COVID-19 pandemic situation in India had not turned anything for better with nearly 75000-78,000 new active cases recorded daily. But the consoling part continues to be the 76% recovery rate and death rate at 1.7% of the total cases. At the time when Government announced its Unlock-3 Guidelines on 29th July, 2020, the speculations were that the Government will announce reopening of schools from September 2020. With this in mind, we made preparatiosn for starting Class X and XII – laying out broad guidelines for all TCV schools to prepare and follow and above all, waited for the Government’s order of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to come out. However, the Government order dated 29th August, 2020 announcing Unlock 4 said all schools and educational institutions including collegs continue to remain closed till 30th September, 2020. So we are more or less back to square one, except for our Private ITI in Selakui, which can operate from 21st September, 2020 for which the Government will issue its SOPs.

With this situation, we are working out on further strengthening our online teaching by our subject teachers. At the moment, for our higher classes X, XI and XII, the present coverage rate of students is over 55% and in the case of TCV Selakui and Suja, this is 100%. For classes IX to VI, the coverage is around 50% which in a way is good, given the fact that many of our student are in very remote areas. As the children continue to remain with their parents/relatives since March 2020, we have decided to provide monthly support money tohelp cover their living expenses till they return to school. Each child will receive Rs. 600/- monthly and we have a total of 2612 children covered, irrespective of whether they have a sponsor or not. In the Children’s Villages, we continue to have around 320 children staying back at this time. All of them are well taken cared safe and sound.

With the spread of positive cases in the Ladakh region, I had expressed in my earlier letter dated 6th May, 2020 of our concerns regarding our Elders’ Home in Choglamsar. We have a total of 67 aged people, ranging from 65 years to 90 years of age living in this home. Despite our best precautionary measures and all out effort made for their safety in the home, 30 of them detected positive in early August and immediately they had to be quarantined separately. Although most of them are recovering well, we are saddened that two of them succumbed to this disease.

The Village Director Mr. Chemey Lhundup and his team of management, the co-workers and other volunteers are doing their best to take care of those who are quarantined. We take this opportunity to thank the Tibetan Settlement Offier, the District authorities and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) through its Department of Health for all necessary support being given. From the Head Office, we have released a sum of Rs. 1,000,000/- for procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical & sanitization needs and providing nutritional food to the aged people. While we condole with the two who succumbed to the disease, we are saying our prayers for the rest of them to soon recover and get back to their normal lives in the home. The Ladakh management has started a “COVID-19 Related Project” fundraiser and if any of our sponsors and friends wishes to donate may do so. We remain ever thankful!

Lastly, we are now working half day in the morning since 1st August, observing all required protocols while at work.

With best wishes

Thupten Dorjee