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India: Tibetan Nuns Project


Project Update

Published in 2005 by the Tibetan Nuns Project, and followed by an English translation in 2007, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind is a simplified version of Our Bodies, Ourselves. It is designed to address the needs of Tibetan nun refugees in India, and has substantial original content on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, pregnancy and childbirth, domestic violence and occupational hazards for Tibetan women living in exile. It draws from another known resource, Where Women Have No Doctor, published by the Hesperian Foundation in the United States and available in multiple languages. 

In its foreword, His Holiness the Dalai Lama reaffirms its importance from a public health and cultural standpoint.

The initial impetus for a resource in Tibetan came from a lack of comprehensive reproductive health information among Tibetan Buddhist nuns in Dharamshala. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dharamshala is home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. The book was ultimately developed to address the needs of all Tibetan and ethnically Tibetan women in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet. For those of us unfamiliar with the region, ethnically Tibetan women belong to Himalayan regions like Ladakh, Spiti and Lahul; they may not identify as "Tibetan", but have cultural and ethnic similarities.   

Since publication, our partner has distributed the book across the region. It has been used in health trainings and education by nunneries, schools, hospitals, community health centers, women's organizations, religious and political groups. For example, two local non-government groups, one that works with poor/displaced women in slums and another that trains young women to become home-care attendants, report using the Tibetan resource in all their ourtreach. 

In 2007, the OBOS Global Initiative conducted a pilot evaluation to understand the book's impact in Dharamshala and Ladakh (situated in the northern most corner of the Indian sub-continent, between Pakistan and Tibet). Using a range of evaluation and interview tools, this assessment provided a critical understanding of the process used to develop the resource, its reach and use in some of the most remote regions of the world.

If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.

Meet Our Partner

Tibetans have been fleeing their homeland since Chinese occupation in 1959, often trekking for weeks over the Himalayas to find refuge in surrounding countries. Today, there are an estimated 130,000 Tibetans living in exile around the world, roughly 85,000 of which live in India among 35 official Tibetan settlements.

The Tibetan Nuns Project was established over 2 decades ago to support nuns escaping Tibet in search of religious and educational freedom in India. The organization provides services to educate, empower, and improve the overall status of ordained Tibetan women. This includes basic care, education on traditional values and philosophy, and training in skills and knowledge needed to function in the modern world.  

Did you know that it takes $1 a day to cover the basic needs of a nun living in Northern India? 

Through a highly successful sponsorship program and the generosity of donors around the world, the organization currently supports over 700 Tibetan nuns. 
For more information about the Tibetan Nuns Project and their sponsorship program, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly. 
Contact Person: Lobsang Dechen / Dolma Tsering
Address: Dolma Ling Nunnery, PO Sidhpur 176057, Dist. Kangra (HP), India
Email: tnpindia@sancharnet.in  
Phone: 91-1892-246419/ 246715
Fax: 91-1892-246413
Website: www.tnp.org  

Looking for a Copy?

If you would like copies of the Tibetan adaptation or the English translation, please visit Paljor Publication for details.

In addition, the Tibetan Nuns Project has an office in Seattle. You may send an email to tnpusa@igc.org or call 206- 652-8901 for information on obtaining copies.

The OBOS Global Initiative also has a limited number of books in stock. Please contact program staff if you live in the US and would like a copy. 

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