Social Networking and Livelihoods: A Study of Tibetan Refugees in Delhi

Author:   Monika Bisht
Publisher:   Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism
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Research Monograph Series No. 9

The Tibetans in India are considered an exile diaspora having unique strategy in their adaptation and livelihood in the alien land. Challenges relating to their roots as well as to the existential socio-cultural and economic issues often make the Tibetan community unique. Based on both primary (qualitative observation) and secondary (existing literature) sources of data, the paper tries to map out various patterns and ways of social networking and livelihood promotion of Tibetan communities in Delhi. The paper tries to investigate how the Tibetans mobilise their economic capital through social networking. The social capital plays a very important role in the economic life of the Tibetans. Unlike natives, they have no established source of livelihood or access to public services owing to their refugee status. However, due to strong social networking, they are able to engage in informal economic activities. Occupations such as handicrafts, carpet making, woollen-making, traditional arteries, ethnic food-costumes and ornaments businesses, travel and restaurant business etc. are the major sources for their livelihood. They face socio-economic and political deprivation in the absence of legal as well as other benefits that the permanent citizens are entitled to. 


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