help ladakh before winter

leh ladakh indiaTravellers to the magical region of Ladakh in Northern India will know of the spectacular Himalayan scenery, the monasteries with their colourful frescoes and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and the gracious hospitality of people – many from Tibetan origins. Tragically, this area has also been swamped by the torrential monsoon rains that are flooding Pakistan.

Our friend Anshu Gupta, from The Intrepid Foundation partner organisation GOONJ writes: “I visited Ladakh shortly after this disaster and the area is certainly devastated – financially, geographically and more importantly psychologically. Imagine a place known for dry mountains and mud houses, where people had never seen rain water in the lanes. All they had seen was the melted water from the glaciers in the nearby Indus River.

In comparison to other disasters the number of people affected might sound less, but in a population of only around 20,000, 200 recovered dead people, 500 more missing, hundreds of houses totally crumbled, and the heavy damage to crops, cattle and property is a huge loss. Many families have been wiped out completely and some of the dead are still under the 6 – 7 feet of mud, which suddenly entered their homes as they were sleeping.

Like in many past disasters, GOONJ will be working through local people/partners and will be focusing on neglected areas. The prime concern is the upcoming winter. In winter the temperature of Leh goes down to -20 degrees centigrade and due to a lack of homes it’s now going to be a miserable time for locals. There is also a bigger question of food security as the affected people have lost the stocks they created to use in the 6 months of harsh winters.”

There are specific requirements that GOONJ will be gathering to distribute in Ladakh – dry rations, basic medicines, woollen clothing and blankets, tarpaulins, cloth for sanitary needs, cooking equipment, school materials, lanterns and candles. Most of these items will be gathered in Delhi or purchased in northern cities. The biggest need is funds for these items and their transportation. If you can help, please donate via The Intrepid Foundation and Intrepid Travel will match your donation* dollar for dollar!

* up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year.

* photo by Michele Alexander – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

Similar Posts


Hi Tony,
Thanks for your comment about travel in the region. Once the area is safe and stable enough to accept visitors, I’m sure that travel to the region will assist Ladakh. Intrepid has had trips visiting the area in the past and we hope that as interest grows it may be something we can consider again the future. It’s always on our radar as it’s a very special and spectacular part of the world.
Best wishes,
Sue, Intrepid Express Editor.

Hi Robyn,
The good news is The Intrepid Foundation accepts donations from travellers all around the world, it’s only because the Foundation is based in Australia that our terms and conditions have to be written according to Australian dollars. So any donation you make in Canadian dollars can also be doubled by Intrepid Travel, to the equivalent of AU$5000 per donor.
Best wishes,
Sue, Intrepid Express Editor'

How do I contribute to this cause or others that crop up from time to time when I live in Canada? Always, your information talks about contributing Australian dollars and matching these contributions.'

Thank you, Intrepid, for sharing and doing this. I first found out about Ladakh in a video, Ancient Futures, which I used in high school classes for years. It is a wonderful portrait of the community and the impact of industrialization, and therefore a good teaching tool. As a result, I felt connected to this community when I read your post. I hadn’t heard anything about the impact of the rains on Ladakh in the mainstream media.'

Does GOONJ have representatives on the ground in Leh? We are flying to Ladakh tomorrow and would be able to take some supplies if we know who to take them to.'

I do not know this area however I have travelled to Nepal and can appreciate the need of these people. Being small in number they amay very easily be overlooked by the world in general. Would travel to the region assist them by generating cash flow & if so are Intrepid planning either a working trip or liesure trip in the near future?

Leave a reply