ABOUT THE BOOK:
The region of Ladakh is an integral part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which was open to extremely limited initiatives of modern education and improvement in communications. Since 1970 Ladakh was finally opened to tourism, making it the focus of intense scrutiny on a global scale. Until then, whatever was known of the region came from travel accounts and the studies of the Tibetan borderlands made by European scholars and Indian pundits.
The author lived in the Ladakhi kingdom for two years. She found in Ladakh the noticeable absence of cultural and social markers that connect it to India being distinctive; physically, linguistically and culturally.
Through an account of the author's engagement with the people and institutions of the region, this paper attempts to draw out points of similarity and difference between the regions of Ladakh, Tibet (China) and the rest of J & K state. She focusses on her working experience at the educational institute of Druk Padma Karpo School, a secular establishment founded by a prominent Buddhist monk who enjoys a degree of eminence in the region. The activities and nature of the school throw light on the nature of this form of education in Ladakh and how far it is distinctive. The overall Tibetan and Buddhist context from which the school has evolved also provides important perspectives on the identity of the region as a whole – just as many aspects of its profile show the ways in which Ladakh has "modernized" in recent years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rudrani Dasgupta: Rudrani Dasgupta has worked with the rights of young people and marginalised communities since 2010 through a combination of teaching, advocacy and fieldwork. Starting as a fellow on an exchange programme based in London and Rajasthan, Rudrani has since worked with first generation learners in a remote Ladakhi school for over two years as a teacher, worked directly with young survivors of human trafficking in Bihar and Bengal and trained British students in public speaking in the UK. Her work with young people has taken her to extreme ends of the socio-economic and cultural spectrum.
In 2015, Rudrani was awarded the prestigious Centenary Scholarship at the Institute of Education, University College London for a Masters in the Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights. Back in India after her Master's degree, she briefly worked on a research project on education policy reform in Myanmar before joining ActionAid as a project officer in Kolkata.