Lha depends on the goodwill of volunteers and monetary and material donations for it to provide essential rehabilitation resources to the exiled Tibetan community. Lha is a non-profit organization solely dependent on monetary contributions from philanthropic corporations and generous individuals. In India, even a little goes a long way, and a lot goes very far!

Account Name: Lha Charitable Trust
Account Number: 2517000101008335
Bank Name: The Punjab National Bank
Branch: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, H.P

Payable to: Lha Charitable Trust
Lha Office Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, 176219
Distt Kangra, Himachal Pradesh

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Survey Report on Lha Community Soup Kitchen

On July 6th, 2011, Lha opened its Community Soup Kitchen in its new building, Ahimsa House. This became the first soup kitchen in Dharamsala that serves low-cost and nutritious meals to the Tibetan refugee community. Refugees take advantage of this beneficial service for a nominal fee of 15 rupees per person per meal, but meals are completely free for those who cannot afford to pay this amount. 91% of Lha Community Kitchen users pay 15 rupees for lunch, while 9% get lunch for free.


In June 2013 a survey of 47 users of the community soup kitchen was administered in order to assess the effectiveness of the services being provided as well as to identify areas for improvement. This survey found that 70% of Lha Community Kitchen Users are current Lha students, and 94% of users are between 21 and 40 years of age. Both men and women utilize services of the Lha Community Kitchen in a similar proportion.
In regards to the financial situation of the soup kitchen users, nearly all of the users are unemployed, with only one out of 47 users reporting as employed. Only 6 (13%) Lha Community Kitchen users receive support from family, friends or a sponsor. 8 of the surveyed users report to be on the CTA poverty list. The majority of Lha Community Kitchen users pay 1,500-3,000 rupees for monthly rent and 2,000-3,000 rupees for food every month. Users report to use the soup kitchen mostly due to financial problems but other reasons include lack of time available to cook and health problems.

The kitchens first and foremost objective is to provide refugees with low-cost and nutritious meals while educating them about healthy eating and living. There is an obvious demand for these services, as health issues appear to be a major concern for many soup kitchen users, with 51% of users reported to have health problems. However, the community soup kitchen has been beneficial in providing well-rounded meals and clean drinking water for all of its users. This source of pure, clean water is important because 81% of Lha Community Kitchen users regularly drink tap water. In addition, the community soup kitchen provides a valuable source of fruit in every meal. This is particularly important because 21% of Lha Community Kitchen users consume only fruit provided at the soup kitchen. 36% of users have only one serving of fruit per week and 17% of users have two servings of fruit per week, indicating a deficiency in this key food group.

In addition to the tangible nutritional benefits that the soup kitchen provides its users daily, Lha’s community soup kitchen undoubtedly provides a much needed source of support and community for its users. This is evident in the figures, as almost half (45%) of Lha Community Kitchen users don't have any family members at the place where they currently live and 28% of users have only one to four family members in Dharamsala. The majority (85%) of Lha Community Kitchen users were born in Tibet, while the remaining users were born in India.

Feedback given from users is very positive. Comments from users include “Lha kitchen is good for the newcomers from Tibet who don't have any financial support and I request that they will continue the service.” and “We should be proud of this social service organization in our community. I wish its service will last forever. Thank you!”

This survey was supervised and conducted by Lha volunteer Ms. Aleksandra Zecenic, Associate Professor, Health Studies of Western University, Canada. The summary is reported by Lha volunteer Ms. OliviaNicolaus from USA.

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Lha is a non-profit, non-governmental, grassroots social work organization located in Dharamsala, India. Lha was founded in 1997 and in 2005 was registered as a non-profit and charitable trust in Himachal Pradesh. Every year we submit our income statements to the Indian Income-Tax Department and undergo an audit. The following are our financial statements from 2005 to 2011 fiscal years, which have already been reviewed. Following the financial statements are graphical representations of some of the key aspects we would like to highlight.

Lha's commitment is to help the Tibetan people survive and prosper in their new home of Dharamsala and to preserve their profoundly unique culture. The means to which we have been able to accomplish these goals has changed over the years. In 2005, as a young organization, Lha had few assets. Lha has steadily grown since then, and now occupies two buildings, which house our classes, soup kitchen, social services and volunteer and exchange student group accommodations. In 2005 Lha had seven full time employees, which has since expanded to nine. The notable increase in wage expenses between 2009 and 2011 reflects the decision to provide a livable wage to the Tibetan employees.

Lha took on the responsibility to pay rent for the operations building during the 2009 financial year, after the purchasing of the new Ahimsa House building, and becoming more financially stable. Since 2005 we have slowly been accumulating assets for the language classes, computer courses and social services which function out of the building, such as computers for our offices and classes, and books and teaching resources for the community libraries.

In 2007 Lha began the process of acquiring a four story building, the Ahimsa House, to house a community soup kitchen and volunteer accommodation. In May 2011 Lha used the remaining funds from the corpus receipt and capital fund to make the final payment on the Ahimsa House. This will be reflected in the financial statement for the 2012 financial year. We began working on the community soup kitchen project in 2010 and officially opened it in 2011. Since 2007 Lha has also purchased many furnishings and appliances for the volunteer accommodations. The donations from Exchange students and volunteers staying in Lha’s accommodations have also created a new source of income for Lha. In the future, Lha hopes that the donations raised from visitors in these accommodations, in conjunction with cultural exchanges and visitors services, will create a stable and sustainable financial foundation for the organization.

The Annual Report, written by Lha’s Director, Ngawang Rabgyal, sets out the aims of the organization, the year’s developments and the latest financial position. It also illustrates the diversity of the social programs provided, and the numbers of students who have benefited from these services. These achievements could not have been reached without the generosity of the volunteers and the dedication of the students and Lha’s employees.

Lha’s primary goal is to provide meaningful social services, such as free education, computer skills courses, vocational training, health and environmental education and service, volunteer coordination, cultural exchanges, free books, medicine and clothing distribution. The services of Lha are open to Tibetan refugees as well as the local Indian population and people from the Himalayan regions.