Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dolpa District Problems

Written by Pema Tsering Gurung

Dolpa is one of the biggest and most isolated districts of Nepal. It is located at the northernmost part of Nepal's Himalayas and borders with Tibet. This district is very sparsely inhabited with a population of around 30,000. People consider Dolpa as 'the land of the hidden.'     

People of Dolpa are called Dolpa-le as their mother-tongue language is similar to the Tibetan inhabitants who live in the Himalayas of 3,000-7,500 meters. The main occupations for them are agriculture and animal husbandry. But this isn't enough to support them for a whole year. So, those inhabitants rely on trade to get additional goods for their household. In summer the men go to Tibet with their yak caravans whereas the women stay in the village with the female goats and yak where they produce butter and cheese. However, in winter most of the people leave their main village and go to other places such as Kathmandu where they go for pilgrimages and to meet their relatives. Bon-po and Buddhism are two major religions which people follow over there. These are the people who statistically earn less than a dollar a day.

Dolpa is one of the most disadvantaged regions of Nepal where the people struggle with food, clothing and education. Illiteracy rates are high and education facilities are sparse. Education and  development are further behind than its most places in Nepal and  going to school is considered rather a luxury. Educational infrastructure can be worthwhile in such places and needed so badly. Without an education the people are ill equipped to live outside the village. The aims to provide worthwhile education to the children of Tashi Sumdho Primary School is one example of a village in high need of help. It is located in the Village Development Committee in Bijer which got established in 2011 A.D.  lately by the co-ordination of  VDC and village community, some individual support and some government support lately.

Until today, there is no any access of road in the entire district of Dolpo. This is so remote that when people need to go to Kathmandu to register a birth, etc. that they say they 'are going to Nepal.' This area is so remote it takes a 9 day trek from the south and then 1 day by airplane from Jhupal and then a day by local bus from Nepalgunj to reach Kathmandu. There are hardly a health centre  or hospital in the area. 

The quality of education is really poor and most of them have the school education only through primary grades (5th grade). However, Tashi Sumdho Primary School affords students with only for pre-primary level to grade 3. Similarly, there are no I-NGOs or NGOs up until now who can provide support to the school of Ku village. This is the village I came from and would therefore like to help find funding for it.

Firstly, it is economically and geographical hard for the children over there to access education. As I have mentioned above, agriculture and animals husbandry are two most major occupations for the inhabitants to feed themselves. We can find people who are unaware of the values of a modern education. Instead of this, they will send their children to collect Yarchagumba (name of herbal medicine) and use their children as household helpers to bring wood, and water, and work in the family's animal husbandry business. Even though people in the Dolpa area may value education Ku village still has little to offer in education.

Secondly, there are few health centres in the region, not even a facility for giving birth, so the mortality rate is one of the highest in the world. However, they have some health centres in other areas of Dolpa, but people lack the eduction about own health. Without education regarding health and hygiene people often discover their illnesses in the final stage where there can't be any solution for it. On the other hand , we can see Tibetan doctors (Amchi) playing a vital role for such places. Similarly, people in Ku village need to depend upon next village, Bijer, where they can go for basic first aid treatment. Many people in Dolpo are losing their lives in the absence of health centres and hospitals.

Tashi Sumdho Primary School is the small primary School that is located in the hidden land of Ku Village. As residents in Ku village are uneducated and without income sources, management and direction of that school is really poor and unstable. Currently, the school management is searching for someone who can support the school in building rooms for classroom and provide educational materials (books, paper, pencils, etc). The village is also in need of help in the health sector as education and health should be available for everybody.

Tashi Sumdho Primary School is providing tuition free education for 40 students where they appointed 3 teachers for those children up to grade 3. The children's family needs to give 5 kg of rice, lintel, vegetables and so on per a month for putting their children into school where it's not even enough, as well. The school contains 4 rooms where 2 rooms are used as classrooms, one is for kitchen and one for office purposes. The school is giving lessons in three languages, Tibetan, Nepali and English. They also have class for elder people for 1 hour a day where the teacher will help them to know daily usage and vocational knowledge. For example: 'what is your name?' how to sign their name, etc.

Furthermore, the school organize annual events with dance, football and volleyball competitions, and various games which can help them to develop their mental knowledge and also support them to explore their talent that they have inside.

However, sometime the teacher bound to take the class outside the ground due to shortage of classrooms. Besides their teaching job, they also need to cook the food for the children and themselves for lunch because the school can't afford staff. Due to the snowfall in winter season, the school will be open only for 6 months a year. Apart from that, 20 days will be off to collect the yarchagumba in spring season. Collecting this little insect is one way families can get some much needed cash. 

Many people wonder why the education is so poor in these remote areas. One reason is due to the villages being so small with only a couple dozen children. Additionally, it can take several hours to reach the next village, so the children cannot possibly go so far each day. Sometimes there are tigers and the children can be in extreme danger.

There are also many students who have high absenteeism and low marks because they don't have a notebook, books, pencils, a school bag and so on. Similarly, children are compelled to work at home in order to help their parents instead of going to school. Additionally, the village has little in the way of electricity. There are a few solar panels in some homes and school but it isn't enough. 

There is no pipeline for the water supply to the school or village, which would keep the children from getting sick. There is also a need to start the project of a green house in Ku village. This would help the children to be healthier and would build the economic base of the village. 

In conclusion, to ensure the future of the Ku village and Tashi Sumdho Primary School, contributions from abroad is essential. There are various ways of supporting Ku Village and Tashi Sumdho Primary School. 

Donation can be given to the School and we also offer you to classroom sponsorships and other forms of project sponsorships. Although we will have a formal project on our website, we can take donations and discuss how you'd like the money to be distributed if you'd like to donate before we get the details up. We will have some lovely gifts from Nepal for donors. Donate through Paypal at this address:

We don't accept the sponsorships for individual children, as we believe it is important to have the same conditions for all the children. 


  1. These kids deserve better life than this!

    1. Yes, they do. I hope we can do something for them. Don't know exactly how just yet. We're thinking about a satellite dish for Internet and a few computers for the classrooms.