Imagine yourself teaching a bunch of small kids at 9000 ft! The thought, for sure, is giving you goosebumps. But there’s one lady who dared to think different, who dared to think about those underprivileged kids who had been trying hard to keep pace with the rest, often disconnected from the world due to the harsh winters. And she founded 17000 ft Foundation to help some 8000 children in ‘the land of high passes’, Ladakh. Meet Sujata Sahu, often called the ‘Iron Lady of Ladakh’ who along with her team are trying their best to develop the availability of education in the mountains.
17000 ft Foundation was formed with people from various professional fields who left their corporate lives to work for their mission to improve the learning opportunities high up in the altitudes as well as boost economic independence through tourism. Sujata Sahu was moved by the condition of education in Ladakh with most of the schools situated in rugged terrain, surviving with very few basic amenities and some dedicated teachers working hard to meet ends for the underprivileged kids, who mostly leads a nomadic life in Ladakh.
The main aim of 17000 ft Foundation is to reach out to maximum number of remote villages in the mountains and develop more opportunities of education for the children, create more advanced modes of learning and encourage programs to enhance skills of local youth from these villages in Ladakh.
So far, the foundation had been engaged in a lot of initiatives like:
– The Furniture Project: 7 schools have been reached in remote villages of Ladakh and their entire classroom furniture had been designed, manufactured and installed.
– Some 100 active libraries are expected to come up in 6 blocks of Leh district that will affect some 100 schools in the area and are expected to start operating by the end of 2013. The libraries are to be managed by 17000 ft volunteers, offering reading opportunities and activity programs.
– Disaster Rehabilitation Program: The founding team at 17000 ft along with The Sri Ram School and The SRF Foundation worked for flash flood victims of 2012 in Leh, with re-establishment of libraries, midday meal kitchens and providing books, clothing and stationery that helped more than 600 children and 14 schools.
– Teacher Training: A six week Teacher Training program was held at various school premises as a part of CSR Initiative of The SRF Foundation.
– MapMySchool@17000ft: A project initiated to geo map some 369 schools from Leh District.
The mountain kingdom of Ladakh houses some 963 schools with most of them remotely situated. The geography makes them lose out on most of the basic opportunities. 17000 ft Foundation aims to make these schools more exciting, effective and lively. Check out what they are upto presently: http://www.17000ft.org
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