The Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Institute (ITBCI) School was established in Kalimpong1954 by Dhardo Rinpoche. It was the first school of its kind to be set up in India and continues to educate Tibetan children and children of various other nationalities (such as Bhutanese, Sikkhimese and Nepalese) according to Buddhist values. The standard Indian curriculum subjects are covered along with Tibetan cultural studies and Tibetan language.
Dhardo Rinpoche (1918-90) was recognized as an incarnation (tulku) of the first Dhardo Rinpoche, Chief Abbot of Loseling, Drepung monastery, in Tibet. The second Dhardo Rinpoche was educated within the classical Tibetan monastic system but spent most of his life in India. For a time he was Abbot of the Tibetan monastery in Bodh Gaya.
In the 1950s and 1960s Dhardo Rinpoche was friend and teacher to Sangharakshita. Sangharakshita considered him to be a living bodhisattva and he is widely revered as such within the Triratna Community.
At the SBC we have a program of support for the ITBCI school, with individuals donating up to $600 a year - the amount required for board and tuition for one child. Around 15 children are currently being supported.