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Yamuna Khimtsang, also known as ཡ་མུ་ན་ཁྱིམ་ཚང།, transcends being a mere community interest group; it stands as a communal haven for over 30 college students, encompassing both genders, most originating from Tibet. In addition, it serves as a sanctuary for 15+ stray dogs that had claimed their territory even before the inception of the group. Spontaneously formed, this close-knit community of Tibetan youth not only coexists, collaborates, and evolves together but has organically evolved into the community’s primary first responders.

Deconstructing its name, “Yamuna” draws inspiration from the river Yamuna, while “Khimtsang” ཁྱིམ་ཚང། translates to “home” in Tibetan. Essentially, it represents a collective of like-minded Tibetan college students united in their pursuit to make positive contributions to education, cultural preservation, social service, and animal welfare. Despite the hurdles faced, the group actively engages in various programs and social initiatives.

Curious about the origins of this dynamic group?

In 2014, Topjor, an alumnus from TCV School Selakui’s 2011 batch, arrived in Delhi following the completion of his computer science degree at the University of Delhi. He secured a small vacant storeroom on the terrace of a one-story building in the Manu Ka Tila Tibetan colony as a temporary residence. Shortly thereafter, his friend Sonam, a computer engineer, joined him. Subsequently, more comrades, including Tsedup (a mechanical engineer), Kunsang (a Life Science graduate), and Tsering (a zoology graduate), all born in Tibet, became part of the group. This group shares an extraordinary bond—supporting each other, cooking together, and sharing a corner of the room as their sleeping quarters.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015, the group relocated to a larger space in the Majnu Ka Tila Tibetan colony, situated by the Yamuna River. The new dwelling had a temporary roof made of gypsum sheets and a spacious surrounding area. Initially cluttered with construction materials, the group rolled up their sleeves and transformed it into a functional space.

To their delight, eight resident stray dogs were already guarding the premises, and a harmonious coexistence was established. The space was revamped, featuring a small badminton court, a mini-garden, and a dog house. Drawing inspiration from school projects, a functional rock fountain was even erected to enhance the surroundings.


The Losar Derga business emerged as a game-changer, supporting rent, programs, and animal welfare. Introduced to Derga-making by Kalsang from Mussoorie Tibetan Homes Foundation, they became pioneers in delivering Losar Derga crafted by Tibetan youth in Delhi over the past five years. Having distributed over 1000 sets, it is gratifying to witness other Tibetan youth groups following suit in crafting Losar Derga. This initiative stands as their contribution to preserving the lost art of making Tibetan Losar Derga, once an integral part of Tibetan Losar preparations.

The group also hosts the Machik Khabda in New Delhi, an interactive session covering a spectrum of topics from Tibet’s environment to gender studies, music, and arts.

In 2018, two members from Yamuna Khimtsang participated in the 5-50 Youth Forum organized by CTA, sparking the creation of the “Yamuna Khimtsang Forum.” This forum aims to bridge the gap between Indian university students and Tibetan youth, fostering mutual learning while advocating for Tibet and its rich Nalanda thoughts. The forum has hosted over 20 conversations, including a discussion on “Humanity in Human” with Bhargsetu Sharma from Roadies and a talk series on His Holiness, the Dalai Lama’s four main commitments.

The onset of COVID-19 posed challenges, resulting in the loss of a dear friend. However, her simplicity and compassionate energy served to strengthen the bonds within the group. The extended family network expanded, reaching friends and their acquaintances, and solidifying its cohesion.

A fortuitous encounter with Lama Sonam la, a tantric practitioner, provided spiritual guidance to the entire youth of Yamuna Khimtsang. The significance of spiritual practices such as lighting a butter lamp and holding 49 days of prayer for the departed was imparted. Empowered spiritually, the group has been able to assist in donating blankets, feeding the homeless in Delhi, and liberating fish upstream in the Yamuna River.

During the COVID period, one of their modest contributions was blood donation. The group’s members willingly donated blood to several patients, regardless of their identity.

Born in Tibet and studying in India, the group lacked the luxury of a place to call home in India. Hence, they pledged to make every stay feel like home, christening it “Yamuna Khimtsang.”

Yamuna Khimtsang operates from a snug 10×10 rented storeroom near the main temple in Majnu Ka Tila.