Keepu Tshering Lepcha first started as a teacher in Enchey Senior Secondary School, Gangtok, in 1967, and then shifted to the civil service, as the Assistant Director of education and managed the teachers’ training institute till 1994. She founded the Human Development Foundation of Sikkim in 1997 for the upliftment of the Lepchas. She hosts a number of children at Lepcha Cottage, Chandmari, today.
A Nobel Peace Prize, 2005 nominee, and one of 1000 Peace Women, she was awarded the title, Jewel of Sikkim by Sikkim Intellectuals Conference on Humanism, Nationalism and Peace. In 2007, she received the Best Social Service Award of the Government of Sikkim.
The Government of India awarded her the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2009, she also received the Real Heroes Award of the Reliance Foundation in 2012. She was awarded the Senior Citizen Award, by CNN-IBN, in 2013.