Closure of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI) SchoolOn Tue, 30 November, 2021 - 16:32
The Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI) school is closing its doors with a finale event today. In February 2021 the school’s trustees made the decision to close later in the year, and now that day has come.
The Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI) School was established in Kalimpong in 1954 by the late Dhardo Rimpoche, one of Sangharakshita’s main teachers. The school was originally set up in order to provide free education for the children of the poorest refugee families escaping persecution in Tibet. It was the first school of its kind to be set up in India. Lokamitra began fundraising for the school in the late 1970s. Karuna ran some of its first fundraising appeals at the start of the 1980s to raise money for the school, and has been supporting them ever since. The school always placed a particular emphasis on teaching and preserving the traditional arts and culture of its students.
The children of the school are being enrolled in other educational institutions in the area, and Karuna has made a substantial donation to the school, in addition to their regular grant, to ensure that all of the teachers received a generous redundancy package, reflecting their hard work and dedication over the years.
From February 2022, the school will be running a new, Karuna funded, ‘legacy’ project, which will consist of a library promoting Himalayan arts, culture and Buddhism, and a small museum containing some of the original Dhardo Rinpoche’s artefacts. Karuna are delighted that this project will honour the connection between ITBCI, Dhardo Rinpoche and Triratna, and will keep the memory of the original Dhardo Rinpoche alive for a long time to come.
Akashamitra, Karuna’s Programme Manager, writes:
ITBCI is one of Karuna’s longest standing and most valued partners, we are proud of the school’s achievements and their excellent work which has enabled thousands of children from very poor backgrounds to receive an education and fulfil their potential, and we look forward to continuing to support ITBCI for many years to come.