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History India & South Asia

Tibetans in Exile

The Dalai Lama & the Woodcocks

by (author) Alan Twigg

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2009
India & South Asia
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price

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Alan Twigg has here recovered the amazing story of how George and Ingeborg Woodcock, while travelling in northern India in 1961, encountered many of the Tibetan refugees who had recently fled over the mountain passes. Appalled by the condition of the children - huddled together with inadequate bedding, surviving on a diet of thin soup and steamed dumplings - the Woodcocks vowed to help.

Hearing of this, one of the Tibetans said, "You must absolutely come and see uncle." This was KhandoYapshi, the Dalai Lama's niece. Among the first Westerners to meet with the Dalai Lama, the Woodcocks offered to campaign to provide humanitarian assistance. This was the genesis for the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society (TRAS), one of two remarkable non-profit charities spearheaded by the Woodcocks - the other being Canada India Village Aid (CIVA) - that have touched the lives of millions.

Since 1962, TRAS has raised over $5 million and undertaken 300 projects. Both of the Woodcocks' volunteer-based, low overhead organizations are still going strong today.

About the author

Alan Twigg is the publisher and editor of BC Book World, Canada's largest-circulating publication about books. He has also been contributing editor of Quill & Quire, Canadian books columnist for the Vancouver Province, books columnist for Vancouver magazine, a contributor of profiles to the Toronto Star and the Writers Union of Canada representative on the board of directors of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. In 2000, he was the first recipient of the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contibutions to literature and publishing.

Alan is the author of ten previous titles including For Openers: Conversations with 24 Canadian Writers, Hubert Evans: The First Ninety-Three Years, Vancouver and Its Writers, Vander Zalm: from Immigrant to Premier, First Invaders: The Literary Origins of British Columbia and Cuba: 101 Top Historical Sites.

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Other titles by Alan Twigg