Live to Love

Bringing Smiles Back to Ladakh

September 15, 2010

Ladakh Relief - an Update

 

Ladakh Live to Love disaster relief

From August 17 to 24, a team of Live to Love volunteers, led by Jigme Jampal, our head of Live to Love – Ladakh Disaster Relief Committee, embarked on a Relief & Aid mission to Ladakh. They had visited several villages and school affected by the flood and mudslide, surveyed various relief camps to assess their needs.

Ladakh Live to Love disaster reliefAfter doing some surveys at different camps, they found out that the things most needed at that moment was gas supply, which is a controlled item which requires registration. The supply and distribution of gas and stoves will benefit them in a long way even after they have been relocated from the camp. With the help of the Young Drukpa Association, they procured and distributed the cooking facilities to different camps and villages.

In addition, the team had attended several meetings organized by the Disaster Coordinator for non-governmental organizations to better understand the situation.

Ladakh Live to Love disaster relief

Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh

Ladakh Live to Love disaster reliefWith the guidance of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, the Live to Love - Ladakh Disaster Relief Committee team has drawn up a plan to help Ladakh in the following manner:

RELIEF & AID

Ladakh Live to Love disaster reliefOf the funds raised in the initial stage, around USD100k was earmarked for immediate relief & aid. Part of this fund will be used to procure gas supply and stove for the affected families in various villages and camps. First distribution was made on August 22, 2010 whereby a total of 34 families residing in Tahsi Gatshal Camp II received thecontributions. Balance of the fund will be used for procuring some essential supplies or be given as cash contribution where necessary.

REBUILDING & REPAIRING THE DRUK WHITE LOTUS SCHOOL

The Druk White Lotus School (http://www.dwls.org/) is one of the projects by Live to Love under the direction of EDUCATION. The flash floods and mudslides which flowed through the school caused widespread damages and made it one of the worst hit schools in that region. The rebuilding and repairing are indeed crucial as students are now studying in very constrained and difficult conditions. Funds raised will be used for the repairing and purchasing the furniture and fixtures damaged by the disaster and reconstructing infrastructures (roads, pipes, wirings, and etc.), building structures and boundary walls for protection.

CONTINUING EFFORTS IN EDUCATION

The school is prepared to take up to 100 displaced children whom have lost their parents or homes, providing them with free education and accommodation. In order to cope with the new intake, the school needs to construct new residential blocks, new classrooms and hiring more staffs.

Children, who have become orphans or homeless due to the devastating cloudburst here, will now get to stay and study at The Druk White Lotus School - which shot into limelight after it was featured as Fungsuk Wangado's school in 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan.

"Many children have become orphans because of the cloudburst. Not necessarily orphans but also homeless. Homeless parents can't take care of their children so we will take them to our school where they will be taught and fed," Jampal Paul Thong, chairman, Live to Love, Ladakh Disaster Relief Committee, the humanitarian arm of the Drukpa Lineage said.

The school is run by the buddhist Drukpa Lineage.

The organisation is looking for sponsors to help such children especially those "who can sponsor them until they graduate."

Even though the school was hit by the flash floods on the intervening night of August 5 and 6, the structure remained intact.

"Of course, all the doors and widows have been damaged but the structure is still there," Thong said.

The school has won numerous awards for its architecture, including the best green architecture award, the most environment-friendly building and also the best architecture design award.

"We are going to share our expertise and knowledge about the architecture. We cannot change the climate but we can educate the people about making such structures," he said, adding "This kind of things (cloudburst) may happen again, so we need to change the structure of the houses."

According to estimates, over 10,000 houses have been damaged and over 200 lives have been lost due to cloudburst here.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh, who visited here earlier this week, had said the priority would be to build new houses before the onset of winter.

The head of the Drukpa Lineage, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa has already announced Rs50 lakh for the relief and rehabilitation work in the district.

At present about 700 children study in the school, set up 10 years ago, including 175 hostelers.

While currently, the school has an upper limit of class VIII, the school management plans to increase by one class every year.

TREE PLANTING

Only 0.0006% of Ladakh's 92,000 sq km of total land area is covered by vegetation. According to the Department of Conservation and Forestry in Ladakh, the impact of the recent calamity that took many lives and affected the livelihood of many families could have been reduced had there been more vegetation. As such, we are driving a campaign to plant a million trees in strategic locations in Ladakh where landslides and erosion can be arrested, and where livelihood can be immediately restored through employment at the various plantation sites.

Ladakh Live to Love Tree PlantingJust started on September 12th, 1,016 trees (1016 is the birth year of Indian Saint Naropa, who reincarnated as the Gyalwang Drukpas) were planted on September 12, 2010, with His Eminence Kyabje Thuksey Rinpoche, Honorable Minister of Communication and Information Technology Shri Sachin Pilot and representative of Commonwealth Games as well as representatives from government of Ladakh leading the exercise. Click here for more photos.

If you are interested to join our tree-planting activity in Ladakh on October 4 to October 12, 2010, please click here or send e-mail to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for inquiry and registration.

DONATE NOW

"Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh" is an important commitment that can only be achieved with your support and involvement. The natural calamity, never before experienced, has taken Ladakh at least 5 years backward. Reconstruction of buildings, and more so, reinstalling confidence, will take many years. We invite you to join all of us at Live To Love to bring back lots of smiles, happiness, joy and confidence to Ladakh, one of the last remaining havens of Himalayan culture. Help Live to Love raise US$3,000,000 to give the people of Ladakh a hope for tomorrow. You are invited to visit our newly designed “Live to Love” website for more details. Click here.

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