India - The long road to school
Education in Zanskar has a solid base, stamina, and some firm feet
Photos: Bruno Zanzottera
Zanskar is a remote valley in Northern India, wedged between Ladakh and Kashmir, and hosts the namesake river, a tributary of the Indus. During winter, the numerous villages of the valley would be completely isolated from the rest of the world but since the river freezes, people can use it as a icy path to walk on it. The trekking is quite tough, and dangerous. It goes through canyons 70 km long, and during the night the only shelter for travelers are caverns digged in the sandstone side of the mountains where the temperature reaches -30°.
Among the people still traveling on the frozen river there are the teachers of the Lamdon Model High School of Padum, the only town in the area. To get back to school at the end of the winter holidays, this is the only walkable way.
The difficulties those teachers face to allow the young people of the Zanskar area to have an education, make their job a true mission.
The story shows the winter journey of the teachers right before the beginning of the school terms and, four months later, their work with the students in the village.