Kyitsel-ling Elderly Stipend Programme
The generation of Tibetans now in their seventies and eighties have suffered great tragedies and survived many challenges. It is this generation that followed HH The Dalai Lama into exile and crossed the Himalayas into an unknown land. Many of them were nomads or farmers with no work or language skills for them to start a new life in exile. Almost all of them started their new lives in exile breaking stones by the roadside at minimum wage.
It was a great change for them from the cool plateau of Tibet into the heat and humidity of India. Many of them did not survive – victims either to tuberculosis or their new found poverty. Many of them have depended on the ability for hard physical labour to survive. In old age when they lose the ability for physical labour, it ends their income source also.
Tibetan families are close knit and children and grandchildren do take care of their parents and grandparents. But, in cases where elderly Tibetan do not have family, they can be very vulnerable. That is why we feel it is important to help them. The elders sponsorships through TCEF helps to purchase food, clothing, medicine and other essentials. It may also help an elderly to go on a long wished for pilgrimage.