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Darjeeling like all other towns and cities suffer from various ills, which can never be solved without the participation of the public. To tackle such problems the enlightened citizens of the town have come forward to form a number of societies, each of which is dedicated to certain area of work. Moreover, in 1998, eleven of these organizations have joined hands to form Darjeeling NGO Network. Needless to mention, such a common platform has helped the member organizations to penetrate further and take their services to where it is needed most. Let us have a look at the work done by some such societies.
Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center
While talking about societies in Darjeeling, the first name that comes to mind is the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center. It was established in 1959 to provide a platform for the Tibetan refugees who came over to Darjeeling to evade mayhem unleashed on them by the Chinese troops. Most of them had brought nothing but a great determination to start life afresh. From the very beginning they knew however generous the world may be towards their plight, the real empowerment would come only from this spirit of self-help. From this knowledge was born the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center at ‘Hill Side’ on the Lebong Road.
Although the main activity of the centre is the production of handicrafts as well as the training of the artisans, Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center has been carrying on all kinds of welfare activities since its inception. Indeed, it has been taking care of the orphans, aged and the infirm form the very beginning and even today a sizeable section of the boarders constitute this group.
Anugyalaya Darjeeling Diocese Service Society
Another nongovernmental organization, which is working for the upliftment of the hill people is Anugyalaya Darjeeling Diocese Service Society. Some of their areas of activities are as follows:
Care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS
Child right protection
Community managed disaster risk reduction
Natural resource management
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment or Atree undertakes research programs for conversation of biodiversity. Their mission is to promote environmental conservation, which at the same time can sustain development by generating interdisciplinary knowledge. In short Atree envisages a society which is keen to conserve the earth’s biodiversity and at the same time promote all around development for the people living in those areas.
Darjeeling SPARSH was established in 1995 by a small group of parents whose children were differently abled. Since then, it has been working to improve the lives of disabled children as well as that of the parents. They employ both community bases and home based rehabilitation programs so that none is left out of it. They also provide counseling to parents and visit the crucially disabled children at their home. Following are some other area of their activities:
Information and Advocacy
Research and Development
Some other NonGovernmental Organizations in Darjeeling
Other nongovernmental bodies working in various other fields are - Astha, Chai Project, Darjeeling SPARSH, Earth Group, Edith Wilkins Street Children’s Foundation, Environmental Protection Society, Force, Hyden Hall, Jawahar Gram Sudhar Samity, Kripa Foundation, Nepali Girls Social Service Society, Pahar, DLR Preran, Shankar Foundation etc. Know More Here.