In 2006, the Lepchas of Sikkim became alarmed about proposals to build dams in the Teesta River basin, including ones in their Dzongu Reserve. Their protests, and their other responses to the dam-builders, form the subject of an article in Live History India, a digital platform that launched in 2017 to examine and reveal the […]

While a tourist facility in the sacred Dzongu reserve of North Sikkim has just gotten a blessing from a foreign royal party, it is not clear how increased tourism will affect the lives of the local Lepcha villagers. A news story last week indicated that Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit, […]

Dorjee Tshering Lepcha sits on his floor cross-legged every morning and chants, asking the spirits to forgive him for any intrusions he might make that day against nature. He plays a tune on his flute to welcome the day and to add to the sincerity of his plea in advance for forgiveness. The room where […]

The current issue of Frontline, a major Indian magazine, carries an informative feature story on the proposed Dzongu hydroelectric projects and the threat they pose to the Lepcha community of Sikkim. The article presents arguments from all sides in the controversy. The government of Sikkim has proposed some 26 dams, many along the major river […]

Protests by the Lepchas about the Sikkim government’s plans to build dams which would damage their sacred Dzongu reserve have continued over the past few months. While protesters demonstrate and politicians argue, the first huge dam on the Teesta River, a 510 MW project referred to as Teesta V, is set to be completed in […]

Turmoil among the Lepchas, caused by proposed hydropower dams near their communities in northern Sikkim, has increased over the past five weeks. A report on July 18th indicates that the Lepchas in Dzongu are growing increasingly resentful that the government of the Indian state of Sikkim is ignoring their protests. The article describes the divisions […]

Lepcha leaders have started a hunger strike to protest the construction of a hydropower dam that threatens the natural and sacred environment of the Teesta River in Sikkim. The Teesta drains south out of the Himalayas and falls thousands of feet through the mountains before emptying into the Brahamaputra River in Bangladesh. The projected dam, […]