India

Zanskar, the Long Road to School

Education in Zanskar has a solid base, stamina and some firm feet

Zanskar is a remote valley in Northern India, wedged between Ladakh and Kashmir, and hosts the namesake river, a tributary of river Indus. During winter, the numerous villages of the valley would be completely isolated from the rest of the world but the river freeze, allowing the people to walk on it. This “track” is quite tough, and dangerous. It goes through canyons 70 km long, and during the night the shelter for travelers are caverns digged in the sandstone side of the mountains where the temperature reach –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 region. 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 reportage shows the winter journey of the teachers before the beginning of the courses and, four months later, their work with the students.

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