Thursday, 26 March 2015

Speak Ladakh Looking for potential Sponsors !!


Speak Ladakh is about to start a series of interviews soon of the people of Ladakh broadly with following Objectives:

  1. To bridge the information gap between the current younger generation and our past generations(On knowledge of their work and them) who have played and still playing a significant role in different spheres for Ladakh.
  2. To create a digital archive of eminent personalities of Ladakh, their experiences, their wisdom and their untiring contribution in making Ladakh a better place.  
  3. To take interviews of unsung heroes of Ladakh and hence bring them in public domain.
  4. To take interviews of the budding leaders and new talents of Ladakh.
  5. To take interviews of leading politicians, scholars, social workers, entrepreneurs etc.
  6. And we will gradually evolve with time since these interview series have a huge scope in future. 

We have this firm believe that many of these interviews are going to be Historic, which will help us eventually in keeping a memory of the people who have untiringly served Ladakh in many ways.
If what we claim synchronizes with any of potential donors please let us know.

Love and regards

Post III on our Sanitaion Project

Continued from our previous post....

As promised to provide the necessary funds, Speak Ladakh worked on the design of ecoToilet and the estimation, it came roughly around 7,80,000/-
And the process of file moving begun, this file work was long enough, by the time we could understand who heads the Ladakh Enviornmental Fund, who had the final authority to approve the fund, new DC Mr. Simrandeep Singh was inducted and it came to his notice that there's big chunk of funds (In crores) that should go into J&K treasury rather than hasving under the authority of few people.
Mr. Simrandeep said, that a Govt. money can't be given to any NGO like a donation and suggested us that we should follow proper systematic structure.
So all the file work for which we worked hard here and there (It is to note that it's hard working in Leh when you have no connections, when you have to wait for 3/4 hours all to avail no response from them, when you have no personal vehicles, when you have to walk up and down from DC office to LAHDC office 50 of times)
Meanwhile as personally promised by Ajang Rigzin Spalpar lay that he'll help us get the funds at any cost we went to our site(Taxi Union) any begun our work, with our own personal expenses.
We dismantled 10, 20 or more years(Not Sure) old local compost toilet which is where had approved NOC letter from Municipal committee to construct our newly ecoTOILET.
The dysfunctional toilet was in such a pathetic state that it was impossible to clear it in day time, so we had to clear the malba after 9 PM till midnight for few days.
We are not trying to defame or accuse someone,It is also possible that there could be many short comings from our part as well, here we are just expressing what happened to few budding social-entrepreneurs, few youth who wanted to work on sanitation problem in Leh.
Love & Regards
Please follow us ....

Post II on our Sanitation Project

It's seen that there's a serious communication gap between what we are trying to convey and how people have perceived it.
The sanitation project we were working on could not see the light of the day due to many problems, which needs to be shared and discussed among us.
Continued from our previous post..
Following our small research we went to Morup saab (then ADC) who was also head of Municipal Committee with our DPR (Detailed Project Report) but to our utter surprise he ask us straight question 'What do you want ?' It is understandable that person at such rank has more important things to consider than wasting their time on every individual who come up with their ideas, but Bureaucratic freedom which Modi proposed to give had no value there.
We said this could be an alternative solution for the problem of sanitation in Leh that you should consider, on it he said " Who is going to pay for it ?"
We " If there's possibility of getting fund from state govt."
On it " Last pey ka Kunga tundup ka leb pa ya " (At the end you reach to money, loosely translated)
Following that we went to Ka RP hoping some positive response from his side, but he also gave cold response saying leave the file there on table I will read it later. We doubt he even cared to read our aims and objectives forget the feasibility or viability of project.
Finally we got a chance to show our presentation to Ka Rigzin Jora without taking any appointment or giving prior notice (On spot at Circuit House). On mentioning we have project regarding Sanitation problem in Leh, he immediately called Morup Saab saying he is the person who has executive power at ground level.
After the presentation it was decided that they will provide a chunk of fund from LEF (Ladakh Environmental Fund) depending on the estimation we give.
We can't and should not deny the boldness of Jora Saab for taking that decision and encouraging the youths' aspiration.
Here we want to make it very clear that we don't have any inclination to any political party.
Please follow us ...

The Project that could not see the light of the day !


Dear Friends,
Speak Ladakh since late 2012, was trying their hands on doing something on the grave problem of sanitation problem in Ladakh (Specially Leh) So keeping that in mind a small group of Speak Ladakh members worked on the possibilities of alternative solutions and came up with a vision of making Leh, ODF (Open Defication Free) and OUF (Open Urination Free) and Keeping in mind the unique challenges of climatic conditions in Ladakh also.
These were the Vision and Mission statements that come up at last:
Vision: To make Leh Open Defecation Free by 2018. A vision of Nirmal Leh (then Nirmal, now Swach)
1) To construct sustainable, viable and cost effective public Toilets in Leh.
2) Total Sanitation Campaign in Ladakh to create awareness on
a) Removing social and cultural norms that accepts open defecation as traditional
b) Promotion of adoption of improved hygiene behaviour (Handwashing at critical times) and safe sanitary practices.
3) To win Nirmal Gram Status for Leh.
4) Operationalizing system for safe management of solid and liquid wastes (Human waste).
We preferred not to make it public because until some substantial work we won't do at ground level there's no point in bragging...
But following what happen...please ... please follow the us
svc.. Designed by @Sonam tsewang

Monday, 4 June 2012

Mr.Tsultim Dorjay

Mr.Tsultim Dorjay
                                 ( On His research   'Kinship and  Marriage system of Ladakh' )

Yes one reason for the Polyandry system of marriage in Ladakh was due to scarcity of cultivable land in Ladakh , but question that Mr.Tsultim raises to the audience is why we had less cultivable land despite having so much free land ... Lets here it from himself ..... 

Firstly, younger Ladakhis must have/note collection of such discussions/talks as it would benefit them(Speak Ladakh) in future when they can not only study on other different problems but also make critical analysis of the studies/researches already done. After all no theory is permanent/accurate and one can no doubt work on previous researches, literature, history, etc. Such discussions would be equally beneficial for SPEAK LADAKH also as SL knows their objectives very well and can compile discussions into some drafts and proceed with same objectives. I am thankful to fellow researchers for enlighting us with borders issues in Ladakh as I didn't know that social issues found on Indo-Pak borders in Punjab and Kashmir (excluding Ladakh) are existing in Ladakhi villages on Pakistani borders also; appreciate fellow researcher working on problems like depleting water table is also appreciable.

Secondly, I am working on Kinship and Marriage system of Ladakh and shall put light on the polyandry system on Ladakh as it has been an integral part of our marriage system. While collecting data for my research, I came across many households who still practice polyandry. It was something I did not expect as most in Ladakh are of the view that polyandry is nonexistent in Ladakh now. Polyandry no doubt has weakened and lost its ground a lot in Ladakh also but only because of both push and pull factors. Push factors like the local gossips, looking down upon the people practicing polyandry, health issues, etc. and pull factors like interaction with the modern world and enbracing modernization, acculturation with other social behaviours from other regions, education, etc. played very important role in weakening of polyandry in Ladakh. But polyandry should not be looked down upon as it has been a traditional marriage system of Ladakh for centuries. Although it can not be encouraged in today's world as there are legal, health and other concerns which states polyandry as not a health marriage system in today's world, one need not to be ashamed of polyandry being an integral part of traditional Ladakhi marriage system. One of my respondents who was posted in Srinagar told me that she gets taunted by her colleagues as saying "Tum Ladakhi to apne devar ke sath bhi rihsta banate ho" and "tumhare to do do teen teen pati hotein hain". Here she should have had told him that this system in Ladakh was not because of one's own choice but because of natural/geographical condition and available resources of Ladakh which accordingly became a tradition. Ladakhis according to some earlier researchers had scarcity of cultivable land (economic factor) and to prevent fragmentation of such land into number of siblings polyandry was a good measure. It kept the household's economy intact for centuries. And my observation says that scarcity of cultivable land in Ladakh was because of local limits and not geographical limit. For example, even barren lands of Taru Thang, Likir thang, etc. bloomed into spectacular flower fields when it rained for continuous three days in 2006 or 2008 (not confirmed of the year) which shows that we don't have shortage of cultivable land. It is only that we should cultivate. Water management problem and local administration seem to be hurdles in getting these barren lands in Ladakh irrigated. Our kings have built thousands of stupas, hundreds of monasteries and castles but they lacked in building water channels, canals, aqueduct systems, etc. as otherwise more land could have been irrigated and picture of Ladakh would have been greener and more prosperous. Indus, streams, etc. flows down without irrigating much. Kargil is god example of aqueduct system. Suru valley becomes lush in summers as there are aqueducts built on high cliffs also and barren lands got irrigated. Can't it be done in Leh? Singay Namgyal's reign in known as Golden era. I ask how, what did he do for the people of Ladakh? Should we really call it a golden period or press shift plus delete button from the chronicle of Ladakh? 

Thirdly, I would like to draw your attention towards the careless/derogatory remarks made my different authors/researchers on Ladakhis. One such author calls Ladakhis as the 'ugliest'. I believe that no one (researchers in particular) have right to judge anyone from his/her physical appearance. He/she can't call someone beautiful and other ugly as it is only the beauty contests that claims to be picking up beautiful people through some contests. No constitution/law gives liberty to refer somebody ugly. It is so depressing for many who reads that his people are painted in such a way to any reader. Other author regarding Ladakhi food writes that it is not nutritious/healthy. Whereas if I am to correct her, let me bring to her notice that according to a research, Japanese have the highest life expectancy and most credit goes to their healthy food behaviour. Their food is either boiled or steamed. And very interestingly, Ladakh's traditional menu are also either boiled or steamed. Frying, etc. were adapted from other regions of the country. My consciousness here is not to criticize anyone pertaining to food in particular but to request authors not to write something they do not know well or have no ground reality. I am going to publish my thesis and shall strictly criticize where and what I feel needed to be. Being researchers we can not express our views like the extremists do or in a  well organized way NGO's do but can do in a intellectual's way in the form of writings like books,papers or thesis, etc. This will also bring into notice the problems.


Speak Ladakh thank Mr.Tsultim for sharing his views , we expect his comprehensive speech on the same issue in future as well .Mr.Tsultim is doing his research from JNU New Delhi can reach  him on

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Ms.Rinchen Dolma

Ms.Rinchen Dolma on
( Why media is not in Leh and importance of media in Leh)

She strongly believe, the reason for not having media in Leh is because of lack of awareness which further leads back to lack of awareness in our society about our rights and many other informations. The current generation may have some advantages through medium like Facebook and other portal websites, but those who know about these medium use them just to advertise for areas like tourism or just to release some basic news. The older generation doesn’t have any access to these things and whatever medium they have is quite limited. They have no idea about what is happening around in a broader sense and they are unaware about their rights, so media is one of the best solution to let people know about what they ought to know because it is their right to know it. Media also provides a platform for the people to raise their voice against anything which is not going right, which we can term as injustice.
May be due to the dominion from some dominating class, it didn’t sprang up in Ladakh in these late years but we should not just lay back instead we should pull our socks and socialize ourselves and bring media in our Ladakh so that we can create awareness of many rights and information among our people.

Ms.Rinchen Dolma is pursuing M.A English Literature from Delhi  University ...can reach her on 

Speak Ladakh expects her comprehensive speech on the same issue in future.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ms.Rigzin Chodon

 (On literature of Ladakh) 

Ms.Rigzin Chodon have a penchant for Books on Ladakh. No not on the flashy magazines on Ladakh to lure domestic and international tourist , but the one which she feels every Ladakhi must  read , to see how the literature of ladakh evolved , in a way how  we evolved ! 

There are books written in English, German, French, Urdu, Bodyig and many more languages. I am going to take a closer look at the literature of Ladakh. We all know that Ladakh had a background of the Silk Route Trade. Ladakh was the hotspot where traders would meet, exchange goods; rest and hire ponies, overseers and potters for their journey either towards Kashgar, Yarkhand or towards Mongolia, Tibet, and Afghanistan. So along the trade route while important trading transactions took place the route actually played a vital role in integrating the kind of people that we are today, reflecting our glorious past as a meeting ground for various people. We have historians who say that Ladakhis are a blend of the Mons, the Dards, the Aryans and the Tibetans. If you look properly at our background, we can actually see that the Ladakhis from Nubra are different; while people from Changthang are similar to Tibetans. Ladakhis from Sham and the Hanu-Pas have Aryan features. Our identity can be shaped from how distinct we are even when we all call ourselves ‘Ladakhis’. We are a confluence of many races.

The first written source that I came across was Alexander Cunningham’s book ‘Ladak’ written in 1854. It was written in English and covers almost all aspects on the region of Ladakh. We have many other authors who wrote on Ladakh from the beginning of the nineteenth century. What I’m pointing out is that we had the German Missionaries and the British officials who employed people to survey and write chronicles on Ladakh. Since they saw a different and a unique culture in our region many more eager and enthusiastic lot got drawn towards Ladakh and from the 19th century onwards we have actually got a very good collection of books on Ladakh.That is just the contribution from the European side, the kind of books that are written by the westerners, the explorers and the adventurers.

Apart from that when we look at the religious aspects, we can see that we have lots of books on Tibetan Buddhism, we also have books related to Islam but I have really not looked into either of them in detail so I won’t discuss it right now.

 Ladakh also has archeological evidences to prove our historic pedigree, even now if you look carefully in your villages I’m sure you will be able to find one or two instances where signs on the rocks somewhere or some petrogylphs can be seen which is actually a marker of our past. I saw shapes of stupas carved into two boulders near the main road towards my village. After talking to the elders of my village, I found out that there was a particular trader who used to come and trade in and around my village (Kairy, Changthang, 110 kilometers away from Leh). I got to know from my elders that he came from Kashagar side (present People’s Republic of China). In order to communicate while trading they made use of ‘pidgins’ which can be defined as, ‘artificial language used for trade between speakers of different languages.

So I would like to request each and every individual to make it a point to get a copy of any books on Ladakh and read it and encourage others to read a book on Ladakh and see it for yourselves how we are depicted in those books. The kind of literature that is evolving on Ladakh is in its nascent stage, but I can see that we can contribute in our own special ways through magazines, novels, poems, articles etc. and develop a genre of literature in the English language, using English language as a medium to put across what some of us have not been able to do in our regional language i.e. Ladakhi/Bodyig.

Thank You.

Ms.Rigzin Chodon is doing her Mphil (Centre for English studies)  from JNU Delhi can reach her on and for more information join her facebook group page with the name ‘Books on Ladakh and More’ (