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Ladakhi monk who set-up school to provide high-quality education to poor children

Last Updated on January 12, 2021 at 6:43 pm

Lobzang Zotpa, a Buddhist monk and teacher at the Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School in Leh, established the region’s first English-medium school on behalf of the Lamdon Social Welfare Society, an educational non-profit. He set up the school around 1980 in Nubra Valley. It has been around four decades since its establishment, the Lamdon Model School in Diskit village of Nubra Valley has taught more than 5,000 students from generally economically disadvantaged who have now become successful doctors, engineers, changemakers, army officers, police officers and teachers.

He started the school with only nine students. Residents of Diskit offered an acre of land to set up his school. Every family donated from Rs 10 to Rs 50 and offered building material like wood, stone and sand for the construction of the school. He also had to handle problems like transportation as there weren’t any proper roads in that region at that time.

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In 1983, classes began starting from Kindergarten. However, as more students started to attend the school, Gyenlay realised that the plot of land wasn’t enough. Again residents and government authorities allotted another 200 kanals of land in the same village to expand their school.

Today, the school boards nearly 70 students and teaches more than 300 students, who study there upto Class VIII and after that they are transferred to Lamdon School, Leh.

Lobzang Zotpa was born in a family of poor farmers in the Panamik village of Nubra Valley, which is known for its hot water springs. At around 10 years of his age, he wished to become a monk in the Diskit monastery. At that time, poor families would often send one of their children to become a monk at a monastery, and since he wanted to become a monk, his parents allowed him.

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Gyen says that he studied at a Buddhist institution in Leh until his matriculation. After that, he went to Varanasi and pursued his studies at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. He completed his studies there and after that he taught Hindi and Bodhi at the Lamdon Model School in Leh for two or three years before he was finally sent to Nubra. He recalls that while institutions took care of his educational charges, many poor children in Nubra lacked that facility and didn’t have access to quality education. Through this English-medium school, he wanted to change the whole scenario.

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Source: The Better India