About Us

Darjeeling Welfare Society (DWS) was established in May 2023 by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, former Foreign Secretary & Ambassador to USA.

The genesis of the DWS can be traced back to the period of the COVID pandemic. At that time, Shringla observed that communities in the Darjeeling area were severely affected due to a loss in livelihood and the lack of medical facilities to deal with the consequences of the pandemic. In his private capacity, Shringla arranged for some relief in the form of COVID-related equipment and support systems. He also informally extended assistance in facilitating the return of stranded Indian nationals from Darjeeling and Sikkim from the Gulf and the other locations abroad.

The profound impact that HVS has made on the lives of individuals, communities in Darjeeling and throughout the world can be seen here. DWS captures the essence of HVS’s dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to uplifting Darjeeling and its people. From establishing a monastery to bringing back stranded individuals during crises, empowering the youth, combating human trafficking, and fostering community development. DWS encapsulates the spirit of dedication, hard work, and love for the people. For the people of Darjeeling HVS is a true champion and a source of inspiration for all.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Our President

Harsh Vardhan Shringla is the Chief Coordinator of India’s G20 Presidency. Prior to this, he was India’s 33rd Foreign Secretary. His working life began in the private and public sectors with brief management stints at Brooke Bond India Ltd and Air India. In 1984, he qualified for the elite Indian Foreign Service after ranking 15th in the UPSC’s Combined Civil Service Examination.

In his almost four-decade long diplomatic career, he served as India’s Ambassador to the United States of America and to Thailand, and as High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh. He was also Consul General of India in Durban, South Africa and in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has worked on all major diplomatic geographies and issues during his long and distinguished career. His focus, however, has been on India’s neigbours as head of division in the Ministry of External Affairs and later as Foreign Secretary. His experience of the neighbourhood, important in the era of ‘Neighbourhood First’ diplomacy, is extensive.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Our President

Harsh Vardhan Shringla is the Chief Coordinator of India’s G20 Presidency. Prior to this, he was India’s 33rd Foreign Secretary. His working life began in the private and public sectors with brief management stints at Brooke Bond India Ltd and Air India. In 1984, he qualified for the elite Indian Foreign Service after ranking 15th in the UPSC’s Combined Civil Service Examination.

In his almost four-decade long diplomatic career, he served as India’s Ambassador to the United States of America and to Thailand, and as High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh. He was also Consul General of India in Durban, South Africa and in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has worked on all major diplomatic geographies and issues during his long and distinguished career. His focus, however, has been on India’s neigbours as head of division in the Ministry of External Affairs and later as Foreign Secretary. His experience of the neighbourhood, important in the era of ‘Neighbourhood First’ diplomacy, is extensive.

He is an experienced multilateral diplomat, having worked on two Indian tenures on the UN Security Council; having served in the Indian Mission to the UN in New York; and as Permanent Representative to UNESCAP in Bangkok. He has headed both the UN Political and SAARC Divisions in headquarters. He has managed key economic diplomacy initiatives; worked on overseas Indian issues and with the diaspora; and coordinated major evacuation and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations such as Operations Vande Bharat, Sagar (pandemic HADR), Ganga (Ukraine), Devi Shakti (Afghanistan) and Insaniyat (Bangladesh).

During his tenure as Foreign Secretary, he dealt with some of the most pressing foreign policy issues, namely fallout of the Covid pandemic, India-China border issues at Ladakh, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and military takeover in Myanmar.
The highlights of his career include his key role in launching the ‘Sonali Adhyay’ in India-Bangladesh relations. He was co-chair of the India-Bangladesh Joint Boundary Working Group which finalized the landmark India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement. He also organized the spectacular ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump jointly addressed almost 50,000 persons, in a rare display of the vitality and public support for India-U.S ties.

He has addressed a wide range of institutions and interest groups, including think tanks, Universities and business associations in India and abroad. He has also written extensively for leading publications worldwide. He has an interest in conflict prevention, a subject on which he has pursued a course at Columbia University. He has received the JT Gibson Award for Outstanding Alumni from his school, Mayo College, and was inducted into the ‘Order of Illustrious tephanians’ by his university alma mater, St Stephen’s College. He has a D. Litt (doctorate) honoris causa from ICFAI University, Sikkim. He has an avid interest in the outdoors and in sports. He has an interest in field hockey, having played at university. He has undergone professional courses at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi and participated in several mountaineering expeditions.

OurTeam

Vice President

SUBERNA VARDHAN SHRINGLA

Senior Global Corporate Executive. Bank Soiciete Generale

Secretary

DECHEN CHIMI WANGDI

Dechen Wangdi is a successful woman entrepreneur from Darjeeling. She has considerable experience in organising major outreach and charity events

Assistant Secretary

MANISH VERMA

Manish Verma runs his own transport business in Darjeeling. He prides himself in his organizational and management

Vice President

JHUMA DUTTA

Jhuma Datta is Deputy General Manager at the State Bank of India at its Corporate Headquarters in Mumbai. She has considerable experience in the fields of Information Technology, finance and human resource

Executive Member

SUMANTA ROYCHOUDHARY

Sumanta RoyChoudhary retired as a retired as a senior executive at the Calcutta Port Trust. He has an avid interest in travel and photography. He has undertaken several motorcycle expeditions, including to the highest motorable road of the world in Ladakh. He undertook the Kailash-Mansarovar

Treasurer

TSHERING DONKA WANGDI

Donka Wangdi has recently retired from an executive position in the Central Bank of India, Darjeeling. She has developed an extensive network of contacts in the banking and allied sectors

Vice President

PENDEN TSHERING

Has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Birmingham. Joined the Indian Economic Service in 1983 and later the Civil Service in 1988. Worked in various capacities in the Central Government in the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and the Cabinet Secretariat. Retired as Chief Postmaster General of Jammu Kashmir and subsequently served as a Consultant in the National Security Council Secretariat.

Senior Research Associate

Dr. PREKSHA SHREE CHHETRI

Dr. Preksha Shree Chhetri has a PhD degree from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Her PhD thesis is on "European Union-China Strategic Partnership" and her specialisation includes the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese Propaganda System, climate action, EU Foreign Policy and Chinese Foreign Policy. Dr. Chhetri was formerly employed at the Institute of Chinese Studies where she headed the Institute's EU vertical and the Publications team. Before joining the Darjeeling Welfare Society, Dr. Chhetri was a policy consultant in the G20 Secretariat of the Ministry of External Affairs, India. Her objective in coming back to her hometown is to give back to her community and serve the people of Darjeeling through DWS.

Executive Project Officer

SALINA GURUNG

Salina Gurung, a microbiology enthusiast turned aspiring civil servant, found her calling in the compassionate footsteps of Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Inspired by his leadership, she redirected her focus to serving her community through initiatives like the Darjeeling Welfare Society. Driven by love for her people, Salina aims to make a meaningful impact, bridging her scientific background with a passion for social change.

Executive Associate

Riza Chettri

Born and raised in the enchanting hills of Darjeeling, I pursued my passion for geography, graduating with honors in the field. Currently, I am fully immersed in the realm of environmental conservation as a researcher at the Federation of Societies for Environmental Protection, dedicated to safeguarding the biodiversity of the Himalayan belt and revitalizing the forests of Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills. Serving as both a researcher and a social and ecological surveyor, I am determined to leave a lasting positive impact on the environmental landscape of Darjeeling Hills. Moreover, my commitment extends beyond professional realms as I actively engage in contributing to the welfare of hill communities through my involvement with the Darjeeling Welfare Society (DWS), where I hold the position of an Executive Member. Within DWS, I am deeply involved in research work and execution, aiming to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people of Darjeeling.

Executive Associate

Agneeta Chettri

Agneeta Chettri, a psychology honors graduate with a B.Ed., has dedicated her career to societal upliftment through education and mental health initiatives. Enrolled a scholarship for UPSC exam preparation, she met Shri Harshvardhan Shringla, leading to her impactful role at the Darjeeling Welfare Society. There, she has been vital in creating programs that enhance community well-being. Agneeta’s journey reflects her commitment to using education for social betterment and community empowerment.

Executive member

SALIM TAMANG

I am a literal figure who researched and explored the case history of District Darjeeling and Sikkim and massively written paper articles in different local nepali newspapers to awaken the mass. Presently , I write on line articles on the pre history of Bharat and the system of governance after 1947.

OurMission

Socio-economic development of individuals and communities, with special emphasis on creating self-help and support systems.

Our Vision