Elevation of Education: Sujata Sahu’s Mission in Ladakh
The lady believes educating children is the most integral part of making our country prosperous, so she targeted one of the coldest places in India, the remote villages of Ladakh, where it is unthinkable for a child to receive the best education deserved by he/she. The lady Sujata Sahu herself challenged all kinds of difficulties to reach those children who need education the most. She treks to a high elevation of the cold desert just for the sake of those innocent children who hunger for knowledge, and she knows that educating these children will make the future generation educated, and education is the only secret behind a successful and flourishing country. This journey through the high altitude seems to be impossible for any normal human being, but her dedication proved that if you have the courage and passion for doing something for others, then it will never let you feel down to reach the spot the journey made by Sujata includes three days of continuous walking after a prolonged mountain drive of ten hours.
The high altitude region makes anyone feel breathing problems due to the gradually low level of oxygen, which makes you exhausted with a little walking and tired with every step you take. Under these circumstances, walking continuously for hours is beyond one’s imagination.
The Background of Her Journey
Sujata Sahu, a lady with a highly educated background, studied at the University of the US and was a technology student. At first, she was the teacher at Sri Ram School Delhi, and since childhood, she has been very passionate about education and educating the children of our country. Coming to Ladakh, the situation was totally difficult where there were only a handful of students studying in just a small room which they call a school. Seeing their crisis, she considered this matter seriously after returning to Delhi. She also discussed the matter with her husband Sandeep Sahu, who supported her, and then later in the winter, she again went back to Ladakh along with her husband and his friend, three of them went to a very interior school in Ladakh to reach there they trekked for three days to the altitude at almost 17000 feet, reaching their tiredness vanished within a second when they received a warm welcome by the innocent and sweet children who were waiting for them in a queue Sujata carried a lot of valuable things for the children like some books, clothes, sports items and a lot of important things needed by them.
Sujata Sahu founded the organization called 17000ft Foundation, and their mission is to produce all kinds of study material needed by the students studying in the elevation of Ladakh. When she visited there for the first time, she carried nine hundred kg of study material and books on different horses. She was introduced to the practice of trekking by her husband, and being the mother of two children, she felt the need to educate those children just like her sons. Before starting her education, she visited Ladakh frequently as she loved the atmosphere of that place. Even then, during her visit, she used to teach science and mathematics to the students of a remote school there. But the situation took a massive turn when the flash flood took place in Ladakh, and many people became homeless due to the destruction caused by it. It was when Sujata thought of increasing her commitment towards these people and doing something for them and decided to set up the 17000ft organization. The foundation was set up in the year 2012, whose main aim was to develop the standard of education in the schools and make them self-dependent to make their school prosperous.
Her Work and the Foundation
Setting up the foundation and arranging the necessary equipment was a relatively easy task to do. Still, a difficulty arose when they considered the best way to deliver the equipment to those schools, so they thought of hiring several horses to carry the books and other necessary items. Till the year 2014, she was successful in delivering around 5000 books to those children. They also successfully improved the school’s basic infrastructure by setting up a playing field for them inside the school premises. According to the latest report, her organization can support around 8000 students directly and indirectly, supporting more or less 30000 students. At first, they took charge of 370 Leh area schools and 60 private schools. They are supporting 100 schools, and they appointed 675 government school teachers who are giving training to them. The trained members of the foundation travel throughout the Ladakh region and set up many workshops where they share many kinds of data with the local children and provide them with study materials.
They work with a lot of difficulties as the place where they conduct their work provides no electricity along with the severe crisis of food and water and no phone and internet connectivity, and during the winter, the roads get closed from November to March when the temperature gets decrease at minus 35-40 degree Celsius. Till today more than 100 eager children waits anxiously for their Godmother Sujata Sahu, who comes to them carrying 1500 kg of school articles carried by some horses in bitterly cold weather of minus 20 degree Celsius temperature by covering several kilometers from Delhi to Ladakh along with three mountain passes Sujata is walking towards her goal by beating all the difficult conditions in the high altitude region and she is living her dreams in this way with a broad smile on her face she is going to those cheerful children whose innocent smile let her feel that yes she is successful in her journey towards humanity towards making this unnoticed part of the world educated.
📎 Related Articles
1. Wikipedia: Education in India
2. Wikipedia: The Shri Ram School