Ladakh EcoGuide training program was inaugurated online on 16 November by Hon’ble Er. Phonsuk Tashi, Executive Councillor, Tourism, Rural Development & Zhanskar Affairs, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council(LAHDC) Kargil, UT Ladakh.
Ladakh EcoGuide Training is for the empowerment of the youths specially focusing the young and energetic Ladakhi girls and women and to preserve, protect and promote the beautiful culture, tradition, environment and ecosystem through ecotourism in Ladakh. The program is organized by Won Buddhism India with the kind help and support of GKL Foundation Korea (a sub unit of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Govt. of Korea) through Hanuran Movement, Inc. The first season of the training was held in 2018 followed by the second in 2019. The program drew immense responses from the youngsters of UT Ladakh–both from Leh and Kargil district – and it was concluded with great success and triumph. The program for 2020 was also in schedule but due to the Covid19 pandemic, the offline program had to be cancelled.
However, the mission to help the youngsters of Ladakh couldn’t be defeated by the pandemic and Won Buddhism India decided to organize the program online in collaboration with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil and All Kargil Travel Trader’s Association (AKTTA).
Ms. Hong Yeon-Kyung, President, Hanuran Movement Inc. South Korea was the Guest of Honor on the program and Rev. Sa Young-in – Director, International Affairs of Won Buddhism, HQ, Seoul South Korea was the special guest on the occasion. The advisory committee members on EcoGuide Training Program Ladakh – consisted of Dr. Tundup Tsewang – senior scientist (Retd, SKUAST) and former LBA President Leh, Dr. Pawan Gupta from Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Dr. Nordan Otzer – ENT surgeon and Former Executive Director – LEDeG Ladakh, Mr Ashraf Ali – President AKTTA, Kargil, Dr. Padma Angmo – Psychiatrist, SNM Hospital Leh and resource person representative Padma Shree Mr. Morup Namgyal were in presence.
In the welcoming speech by Director General of Hanuran Movement Inc, Korea, Ms. Jeong welcomed all Chief Guest, guest from Korea and India and congratulated all the participants for availing the wonderful opportunity. Though she missed Ladakh she expressed her wish to visit Ladakh again very soon.
The Chief Guest, Hon’ble Er. Phonchuk Tashi joining online directly from Zanskar congratulated all the participants for joining the benchmark project and advised them to take the full benefit of the program. He also praised the efforts of the organizer and said that the organizer is providing a set of best platform for the youths of Ladakh to build their own personality and skills to stand on their own leg. He invited them to organize such projects in future in Zanskar too.
Ms. Hong, President of Hanuran expressed her happiness and joy to see all the participants of the program from different parts of Ladakh by sitting in her office in Seoul. She missed Ladakh. She said ‘Covid19 pandemic has affected every region in the world. Some take the crisis only as a crisis and some take it as an opportunity. So we should take this an opportunity to start a new and learn extensively from the program’.
Rev. Sa – Director of Int’l affairs of Won Buddhism, HQ, Seoul said that the program is well structured and experts from Korea, Delhi, Ladakh and other of parts of India are sharing the acknowledge to the youths of Ladakh. She further pledged the unconditional support and help to the youngsters and people of Ladakh and said that ‘when I visit Ladakh next time one of you should be my guide to take to the beautiful monasteries, mountains and villages of Ladakh’.
Dr. Tundup Tsewang, who is has a long association with the organizer and wholeheartedly worked to make the program materialized in Ladakh, stressed about the importance of the great culture and tradition of Ladakh along with the high expectation and responsibilities of the youths to carry forward and promote UT Ladakh. He thanked GKL Foundation, Hanuran Movement Inc. and Won Buddhism for giving such wonderful opportunities and asked them to continue their support in future for the benefit and welfare of Ladakh and its youngsters.
Mr. Ashraf Ali President of All Kargil Travel Trader’s Association said ‘Won Buddhism was the first and only organization ever, to conduct such program for the first time in Kargil in 2019’. A Large number of youths from Kargil immensely benefited from the program in 2019 and he pledged his unconditional support to the organizer for the betterment and promotion of tourism in Kargil District.
Dr. Nordan Otzer spoke about the zealous attitude of the participants and asked them to take the best out of this training session and use their time wisely by studying and giving hard effort to the coming sessions. He asked every participant to have passion about learning about Ladakh and promote Ladakh with accurate, precise and exact information. In this time of information and technology visitors do a fact check about the places and areas of their visit and hence guides should prepare themselves well professionally with confidence.
Dr. Padma Angmo asked the youths to make best use of the opportunity and learn about the pros and cons of tourism, and be a self-dependent to make judgement about negative side of the tourism.
Dr. Pawan Gupta expressed his unconditional support for all the projects to boost ecotourism in UT Ladakh and youth empowerment. He said that UT Ladakh has some of the best opportunities and there are many scopes which he will be talking about in his coming sessions and wished best luck to all the participants.
President of Won Buddhism India Mr. P. Namgyal Ajita in his votes of thanks expressed his immense gratitude and thanks to all the stakeholders of the UT Ladakh for making the program a successful in the previous years and to start this year session with huge presence of guest and participations of youths from all over Ladakh. He expressed his sincere thanks to UT Ladakh, LAHDC Leh and Kargil, the advisory committee, volunteers, media people and all the participants.
The online course is in two level – beginner and intermediate. 220 students have enrolled for the beginner course from different part of Ladakh including Drass, Zanskar, Kargil, Wakha Mulbeck, Bodh-kharboo, Dha-Hanu, Leh, Nubra, Changchang, Hemisukpachan and many other parts of Ladakh. Since the course is exclusive for the youths of Ladakh, many of them joined from other cities of India like Delhi, Jammu, Chandigarh, Karnataka and few from other countries like France and South Korea etc.
Since Zanskar got the Jio facilities 2 days before the program some of the participants are directly joining the program from Zanskaar without any disturbance in internet connectivity.