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News from the SOS Village Leh-Ladakh, India

We have just received this letter from Mr Tsewang Yeshi, the President of SOS Children's Village's for Tibetans. He tells us about the current situation of our Children's Village in Leh-Ladakh, which is situated on the river Indus, and very near to areas affected by flooding. The Village is 7 km from the town of Leh in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He explains how the Village is reaching out to those in the community who have been affected.

Child from Leh-Ladakh

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your most kind mail inquiring after the situation in Leh - Ladakh. We are deeply touched by your concern and the inquiry for need of assistance. All this is very highly appreciated and we do want to thank you most sincerely from the heart for your thoughtfulness!

Despite the wide scale of catastrophe, fortunately, we are very happy to inform you that no major damage or loss is reported from our Children's Village. Except for some minor damages to some of the buildings, all is safe and sound with the children and co-workers. Although the cloud burst was wide spread over the region and the consequent flash flood left a trail of devastation on a massive scale, with the Leh area hardest hit, the Children's Village was very lucky to remain largely unaffected. We must thank the providence for this miracle! ….to escape unscathed!

The small Children’s Village hospital is filled with over 50 affected people for emergency medical treatment. Similarly, our school hall is packed with other victims of the flash flood for relief and temporary shelter. In the vicinity of the Children’s Village, around 70 houses have been destroyed or damaged badly in 2 Tibetan camps. Our staff and senior students are fully involved and doing the best they can in the relief operations.

Communication with Ladakh is still very difficult. As and when we have more news, we shall not delay to inform you. We only hope the weather will hold well, and not go worse, as reports of uncertainty still hangs heavy in the air. Reports indicate urgent relief measures for immediate medical treatment, food & blanket, and temporary shelter, not to mention the long drawn rehabilitation task ahead for the affected families. For the proper organization and coordination of relief efforts, from the Tibetan side, the Home Department of our exile Govt. is overseeing it with a local committee formed. Our Children’s Village Director is a member of this committee.

Once again, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for all your concern and wholehearted support for the safety and well being of our children and co-workers at TCV Choglamsar! We look forward to be in touch with you soon when we have more news from Ladakh!

With all our best wishes and gratitude,

Yours Sincerely

Tsewang Yeshi