News from Dawa

Julley, while the pandemic was spreading across the world last year our place, Kargyak in Zangskar was doing okay because there is no way for anyone could come in or go out due to the roads being blocked by snow.

In March the Indian govt. announced that the whole country would go into lockdown. At our school, we continued teaching because we were safe because of nobody coming into Zangskar. Until July, we did the classes as usual. Around that time the students who had been studying outside and others started to come back home so our place was locked down by the local authorities. Since the schools were to be closed, we the teachers decided to give the students homework and check up on them once week at their own home. For the older students, we gave them homework based on their textbooks. For the younger students we let them do drawings and other basic things. This went on for a long time since we didn't know when things would be back to normal. Till October at least it went on like this.

Once a year we take the students on a picnic. Last year we had all the old students of our school back home except for one. We also asked them to join us. We had a great time together. We also cleaned the surroundings of our school. Two of our first ex students of our school, Tsomo and Chosdon are in Manali right now. The next two Samchok and Choskit are in TCV Bylakuppe. Youdon is studying in Padum. From the next batch, Lhamo is studying in Jammu. And Dolma and Norbu are in Leh. We managed to get three of the next students, Dechen, Dolma and Rinchen admitted into TCV Upper Dharamsala. Phuntsok is studying in Padum. Bhuti is planning to join a nunnery soon. Another two girls, Yangzom and Dolkar have also joined a nunnery in Dharamsala. Our two most recent students who finished class 8, Thosam and Tsega have been accepted as students in TCV Upper Dharamsala. They have not yet arrived due to the roads being blocked by fresh snow. Soon they will come down I hope.

We also have a new tunnel to make it easier for the people. It is located between Manali and Lahaul. Usually to travel from Manali to Ladakh takes quite long and this tunnel reduces the distance by few hours. Some people who have to come out of Kargyak manage to cross the Shingo la on foot in spring. With this tunnel they can then visit Manali for work or other things. It has been very helpful. There are few people here in Manali I've met who want to go back to Zangskar but there was fresh snow on Shingo la a while ago so they're stuck here. As soon as its good I also plan to go back with them as soon as possible. We will have to walk on snow since cars can't cross the pass yet due to snow.

That's about it for now. Thank you for your continued help and support for the students.


Lama Dawa

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