Following the Chinese limited liberalisation policy of the 1980s, Tibetans by the thousands crossed over to India to seek freedom from suppression and persecution. Among the escapees there was a sizable number of illiterate young adults who needed help in education as well as eventual integration into society. The Cabinet Secretariat of the Tibetan Administration (Kashag) founded an adult education school in 1986 at Bir – 75km from Dharamsala. It was named New Tibetan School, and there were 68 students who lived and studied in rental houses there.
Later in 1990, the Kashag entrusted the responsibility of running the school to TCV, as it had the required experience and capacity to do so. At the time of TCV’s takeover, there were already 322 young adults with many joining day by day. When the school was in its early development, there was neither proper curriculum, nor adequate infrastructure. For TCV, it was a moment of great challenge. Everything had to be reorganised and restructured in a systematic manner, keeping in mind the unique needs of adult newcomer students. New policy guidelines were worked out with the aim of standardising the education and opening other options and opportunities for further education and training. In spite of considerable struggles in the efforts to create a new kind of school within the TCV system, Bir school eventually came out a success.
The successful handling of the adult school at Bir led to another development in TCV’s continual efforts in combating the overcrowding problems. SOS Kinderdorf International agreed to fund the establishment of a completely new SOS Village at Bir. A plot of seven acres of land was bought around the TCV Bir School, and hectic construction of the Children’s Village was undertaken. A first batch of 27 children from Tibet arrived even when the Village was not formally opened. Temporary arrangements were made for them. As the major part of the construction was completed in 1994 and the required infrastructures created, a fresh batch of 303 children from Tibet joined the Village. Since the number of people escaping ruthless Chinese suppression increased, the number of helpless children coming to TCV virtually turned into a flood in 1995.
Presently, the village has twelve children’s homes with an average of 30 to 40 children living in each home or Khimtsang. Every effort is being made by the TCV administration to reduce the pressures of overcrowding. In the field of education, the Village has complete facilities for students through the primary level. After that, children will join other TCV branches.
Numerical Data (December, 2022)
Boarders : 550
Day Scholars : 1
Staff (Regular) : 75
Old People :