Ekal Global Learning, 2010 was organized successfully in Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh from 18.06.2010 to 26.06.2010 by Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad. This year’s EGL is significant in many ways. First of all the areas we chose were very difficult, hypersensitive and the most challenging. Secondly, the EGL group was the largest, compared to previous years. Total 29 members including six women, two children and six young enterprising men took all the hardships of the journey sportingly. The group consisted of 3 members from USA, 2 from Kolkata, one each from Bangalore and Mumbai, 3 from Jammu and 16 BLSP members from Delhi and 3 Ekal volunteers. The EGL started from Jammu on 18th June and ended on 26th June in Leh Ladakh, the longest EGL programs so far.
The main features of Ekal covered by EGL in Jammu:
Ekal School in ‘Chakka’ village in Bhadarwah, Doda
Bhadarwah falls in the sensitive district of Doda close to Pakistan border. Locals have suffered may casualties during disturbed period. Bhadarwah is a small holi city, summoned by hilly villages and porous borders. It is famous for many ancient Temples of Shiva and Lord Vasuki Nag which attracts thousands of pilgrims from J&K also.
Ekal in Leh Ladakh (21st – 26th June 2010)
EGL Team reached Leh on 21st morning from Jammu. Surrounded by snow clad high mountains and steep rocks, Ladakh is the most strategic part of J&K. Ladakh is divided in two districts of Leh and Kargil. Both China and Pakistan are bordering Leh and Kargil respectively. Total population of Ladakh is 3 lakh, nealy half- half divided between Leh and Kargil. Ladakh is famous for ancient monasteries. The monasteries are hub of knowledge and learning for Budhism. Budhist works have kept the sanctity of Lord Budha.
All the development work in Ladakh, such as roads, hospitals, schools, welfare centres for refugees of Tibet have been done by Indian Army. The highest moterable road ‘K-Top at 18000 ft. is in Leh.
The EGL team was fortunate to see the most ancient and largest monastry of Hemish. The team visited ‘Hall of Fame’ kept by Army as the most heart touching movement of several wars fought by Indian Jawans, who laid their lives for the country. Shanti Stupa, Kali Mandir Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Magnetic Hill, Thanskar and Sindhu river Sangam Jorawar Fort Pangong Lake (40% in India 60% in Tibet- China) Ekal school in Igoo village and Sindhu Darshan festival are visited by the spirited team of EGL.
Ekal in Ladakh
There are 213 villages in Leh Ladakh. Wherever Sindhu and Jhanskar water is available, small village can be seen with some greenery and cultivation. Villages are sparsely situated in between snowy and rocky Himalayan range. Only five months from May to September, business can be done. Rest seven to eight months Ladakh remains frozen. Jhanskar canal freezes, people walk on it, call it ‘Chadar Road’. Ekal Schools are in 58 villages of Ladakh. 10 schools are running in the village close to China border on Leh side and 12 schools are along the Pakistan border including Kargil. There are 30 Ekal schools in Kargil district.
Ekal schools have made their presence felt in Ladakhi villages. The govt. school teacher, a Ladakhi girl studied in Delhi, told us in Igoo village that due to Ekal school, children come to Govt. schools. They show very good results.
We met 13 children in Ekal school in Igoo village. The lady teacher Smt. Tsring Dolma is very dedicated to her work. We met the village women association President Smt. Tsering Dolker and Vice President Smt. Sonam Lhavdav who take care of the Ekal on day to day basis. Ms Dolma told us she has sent 10 students to govt. school in higher classes to write the examination. We found children very sharp and good at learning. They wrote, Bhoti, Hindi, English and Maths in their new books we gave to them. They sang Buddhist prayer, “Machhli Jal Ki Rani Hai” and “We shall overcome” we said ‘Julley’ means Namastey to all of them.
The EGL trip proved to be a great learner and an eye opener for everyone. Ekal has reached in the most difficult and ‘unreachable places of the country. Ekal is the ‘Ray of hope’ for many Indians perishing in remote corners of the country.
Thanks to Shri Naresh Jain, National President of Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad who took the leadership of EGL. Thanks to Parin and Gaurin Kothari, Rupesh Jain and Alexandro Bresba from USA and all the others who made the EGL memorable.
We will never forget Shri Vijayshree Thakur, Ekal Abhiyan Pramukh of Ladakh and brave Skarma Choedup Area Incharge of Ekal in Leh. They accompanied us and gave us all information.
In the recently concluded meeting of Central Karyakarta Toli (CKT) in Kolkata, it has been decided to give impetus to tree plantation drive keeping in view the continuously increasing temperature of the Earth due to global warming. A country wide campaign of tree plantation will be initiated by the students and volunteers of Ekal Vidyalaya targeting the plantation of ten lakh trees by the end of this year