| Relief Efforts in Ladakh - a further update
Thanks to swift and loving responses, donations for Ladakh have been sent by Live To Love members and their friends across Asia, Europe and South America in the hope of "Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh". Amongst them include well-known names such as Indian super movie stars Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. From 17th to 24th August, a team of Live To Love members from Malaysia and UK embarked on a Relief and Aid mission to Ladakh, which was hit by heavy flood and mudslide on 6 August, 2010. They visited villages and school affected, surveyed various relief camps to assess their needs and attended meetings organised by the Disaster Coordinator for NGOs to better understand the situation.
Of the fund raised in the initial stage of "Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh", a sum of Rps 5million (USD100K) was earmarked for immediate relief and aid in Ladakh. Part of this fund has been used to procure gas supply and cooking stoves for the affected families in various villages and relief camps. Distribution of the supplies was made on 22 August, 1 & 2 September whereby approximately 300 families have received the contributions. Balance of the fund will be used for procuring other essential supplies or be given as cash contribution where necessary.
The White Lotus School is one of the projects by Live To Love under the directive of EDUCATION. The mudslide which flowed through the school caused widespread damages and made it one of the worst hit schools in that region. The rebuilding and repairing is indeed crucial as students are now studying in very constrained and difficult conditions. Funds raised from "Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh" will be used for the repairing and replacement of the damaged furniture and fixtures, reconstructing infrastructures (roads, pipes, wirings, etc), building structures and constructing boundary walls for protection. In addition, the School has committed to taking up to 100 displaced children who have been made orphans due to the natural disaster by providing them with free education and accommodation. To cope with this new intake, the School needs to have new residential blocks, new classrooms and hiring more staff members.
We are delighted to be informed that, as of 8 September, 2010, the School has already taken in 26 orphans to look after their education, shelter and well-being. So far eight classrooms which were filled up with mud have been cleaned up for full operation again. One of the major conditions contributing to floods and heavy mudslides is a deprivation of vegetation. 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 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. We have prepared a booklet entitled Bringing Smiles Back To Ladakh (in pdf format) which contains information and pictorial illustration of the disaster as well as our Relief & Rebuilding plans and the estimated costs.
"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. DONATE NOW