Gyegyeling (དགེ་རྒྱས་གླིང།) Tibetan Settlement, Rasuwa

A brief story of Gyegyeling Tibetan Settlement, Rasuwa - Nepal
A Glimpse of Rasuwas Tibetan Settlement. (Nepal)

Back Ground:

In the wake of Tibetan Uprising in March 10th 1959, and the resultant Chinese forceful occupation and ruthless and brutal killing that followed the exodus of Tibetans to neighboring countries. Leaving behind their own properties and land thousand of Tibetans crossed into the region of Rasuwa District not very far from Tibet. Hundreds of Thousand of Tibetans from neighboring Kyidong District left their motherland in order to escape from Chinese tyranny and terror were scattered throughout the Rasuwa land of Tamang having similar culture and language. When the Tibetan Government in exile, under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama finally took foothold in Dharamsala in India, Tibetan Refugees worldwide began to resettle in the camps with help and guidance from the respective host Nation and numerous international humanitarian aid organizations. Under the auspices and co-ordination of Nepal Government resettlement of Tibetans roaming in Nepal began in 1960. In 1961 under resettlement program Gye-Geyling Tibetan Settlement was established in the district by Nepal Red Cross society, and this settlement is more like housing settlement as there is no farm land. Procurement of land for housing was paid by Nepal Red Cross. In old days there were no vehicle road connected and area was under-developed. Since the road was made this area made fast development and area falls under tourist trekking area. For any one visiting this settlement, it can be reached by direct bus or car from Kathmandu ShabruBense. Now road from to Tibetan Border is connected and over flow of Chinese are working on the road development project sites. Tibetans are living in four camps and two scattered cluster area of Langtang and Timuri very close to Tibet.

Living quarters were initially built of stone mud with shingle roofs. In 1998 reconstruc-tion were done with funds from EU. Now houses are having GI sheet roofing. Due to the location of area only few families migrate to Kathmandu. Still 42 families are living in Rasuwa. Some of the families are having hotels and many of them are having cows, therefore they live with animals in the mountains. A carpet handicraft Centre was set up for economic survivable. But long ago it was closed due to lack of weavers. Majority families were involved in running hotels, small store, raring animals and doing pity business the easiest work to do in an alien country. The region was fitted to the people for doing odd business for their living. A primary school was set up much before the housing projects were carried out. Hostel facility is available for the children. Tibet for Ever from Switzerland and Sol Himal from France are responsible for the sponsorship for the children. There no hardship for sponsorship to children of Rasuwa. A dispensary offering good medical services was created.

A census taken May 2009 reveals that there 214 and representing 42 families current-ly living in Geygeyling Settlement. An assessment of the population by age is as Total 214


GeyGeyling settlement is trying its best to preserve its Tibetan community's identity and working hard in this fast growing area. As there is no land for further development and people are doing well for their living individually. We are concentrating in the field of Education, Health and Old and infirm people.


Education is the back bone of our society. First priority we Tibetans made in exile was towards education. As first schools were set for the children and later settlements were established, along with establishment of settlements monasteries were built mostly by individual Head Lamas with volunteer money. So we had set up school at Shabru but in late 70's government of Nepal taken controlling of school under their education policy. Later with lack of fund for purchasing land for School our children attending Nepal which is having class XII. Since Tibetan Language is not allowed to teach in Nepal Government run School, we have special class in the morning and evening for the Tibetan children to learn Tibetans. As standard of English and mathematic is not good in Nepalese school we also teach extra class for the children along with Tibetan. At present we have 28 Tibetan and 60 local attending Tibetan class up to class V. After finishing class V Tibetan children come down to Kathmandu and join Namgyal High School for higher class. Four Tibetan teachers involved in Teaching Tibetan extra English and Math. Rest subjects were taught during the normal class along with Nepalese children by Nepalese teachers. Teacher salary and school running costs were borne by Snow Lion Foundation.


Since Tibetan camps are situated far away from the school. It is rather hard to send children to school. So, to solve the children attending from far off places, we built hos-tel for children and hostel facilities were provided. All the Tibetan children regardless of places they all are living in Hostel. For caring children two foster mothers and a cook were appointed. Over all management is supervised by this office but day to day activities Headmaster is responsible for managing the Hostel. For procuring the food stuff we have two elected local representatives.


Thanks to the cold climate and sparsely-populated environment of Pholay. The majority of the Tibetan settlers are comparatively healthy. There were two cases of cancer deaths in camp. However, the health complications due to vitamin deficiency, parasitic diarrhea, VTI disease, and cold and cough problem are quite common in summer. The Department of Health, Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama had trained Master Tashi Tsering as health Worker and employed him as a Health worker. His salary and minimum of Rs.6000 as running expenditures of the health clinic were paid by DOH. . However, for severe illnesses, the patients have to go to Kathmandu. Since there are no trained nurses, women face hardship and complication during child birth and after birth. In fact the great God saw the problems so there has been no case of death relating with birth till now in our settlement.


Over the years, the primary source of income and economic backbone of the settle-ment has been Hotel, small store, rearing of animal, weaving of traditional woolen cloths. About 30 elderly people are getting nominal old age allowance of Nrs 1000/00 per person is getting from different aid organization. Although rupees one thousand is not enough to meet all needs of the old people but we have no alternative to get more funds for elder people to solve their hardship.


Tibetans fled their homeland with the hope that they will one day they will be able to live in an independent Tibet. The Tibetan settlements had been established as an im-portant means by which these people preserve their heritage and convey it to their younger generations. Because of economic pressures and difficult living conditions, the populations of these communities have declined over the years with so many people moving to the cities where they often find an easier and more profitable livelih-ood. As these communities erode, so does their cultural cohesion and, in due course, their Tibetan identity.

In the case of Geygeyling Camp, if the much needed improvements and changes are brought in with a sense of urgency there remains no doubt that the Geygeyling com-munity will rise once again as one of the best Tibetan settlements in Nepal. There will surely come a time, in the near future, when the Tibetan refugees struggling in the cities will opt to come and live in Geygeyling - an easier and more peaceful life - where they can propagate and preserve their unique heritage. We still work towards the day when the Tibetan refugees will return to live happily in an independent Tibet.