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In Conversation With Reach Ladakh

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In conversation with Thinlas Chorol
By Reach Ladakh Correspondent, Thursday, March 20, 2014

leh: Thinlas Chorol was born on 6th May, 1981 in Takmachik village of Ladakh. Chorol did her primary schooling from Takmachik and secondary schooling from High school Domkhar. After completing her secondary education, she moved to Leh and joined SECMOL. While at SECMOL, she completed her higher secondary education and had the opportunity to trek with foreign volunteers. After that she did correspondence course in Bachelor of Arts from Jammu. She also did mountaineering course from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi and a semester course at National Outdoor Leadership school. She started Ladakhi women’s travel agency in year 2009. She is Ladakh's first professionally trained female trekking guide. Recently she was honoured with Janakadevi Bajaj Puruskar for her contribution in promoting home stay business in rural areas of Ladakh.

Could you tell us about your childhood days and your educational background?

I spent most of my childhood days with my father in Takmachik village. My mother died when I was a kid. I was very helpful to my father. I would go to the mountains with him to gather grass for animals. I did my primary schooling from Takmachik and secondary schooling from High School Domkhar. After that I joined SECMOL. While at SECMOL, I completed my higher secondary schooling. I did BA through Distance Learning program from Jammu. As I was interested in trekking and mountaineering, I did mountaineering course from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi and also a semester course at National Outdoor Leadership School.

How was your Journey being the first woman to run a travel agency in Leh? How the idea of founding a travel agency came in your mind and what kind of challenges you had to face?

At SECMOL, I met different people from different part of the world. I got the opportunity to go to different trek routes with volunteers and students groups. Also, I saw many Ladakhi male students who were working as tourist guides. Since I knew the trekking routes, I also wanted to become a trekking guide. I approached two agencies in Leh but they refused to hire me. One of them told me that it could be possible if I wanted to work as a tour guide. I told him that I want to work as a trekking guide. Later, SECMOL started its travel agency called ‘Around Ladakh with Student’ where I joined as a trekking guide. I also worked as a freelance guide with a few agencies and I met many Ladakhi girls who wanted to work as guides. Some of my friends would insist me to take them with me. I also met girl trekkers who preferred to have female guide. That’s how I started Ladakhi women´s Travel Company to create job opportunities for Ladakhi women and to create an option for female tourist who prefer trekking with female guides.

You do free lancing also and you won Ladakhi Women’s Writers Award in 2008. Tell us about your experience as a free lancer. Do you want to give any message to young Ladakhis who want to do free lancing Job?

It feels good that I wrote on some issues that I knew about and I am thankful to Charkha foundation for recognizing my work. At that time, there were not many female writers in Ladakh. I think anyone can write on social issues. Through writing we can bring changes and improvements in our society. But I think this award should be given to those who pursue career in Journalism. Our society is changing very fast. It is our responsibility to highlight critical issues and spread awareness among the people.

This year you were being honoured with Janakidevi Bajaj Puruskar for rural entrepreneurship.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of staff members and guides at my agency. I really want to thank them. I am the youngest women to have received the award and the first person from J&K.

You have also formed a women group called Ladakh Women’s Welfare Network. What’s the idea behind the group?

In Ladakh most of the cases of crime against women goes unnoticed and also there aren’t many organization that focuses on women’s issues. I had a discussion with many young women regarding the increasing cases of rape in Ladakh. Together we decided to form this group in order to help women in different ways to empower and educate them on their legal rights and to build confidence in them.

If it is an organization that deals with crimes against women in the society, how do you look at the increasing crime against women in Ladakh? Have any such cases been registered in your organization?

We formed the group only few months back. Crimes against women have always been there but were never discussed and exposed. The families of the victims don’t inform such incidents thinking it would be an insult to their family. We often blame the victim rather than demanding punishment for the culprit. Now the society is changing and women do report crime against them to the police. Recently a young girl was raped by a close relative of her and her father reported the police. Some people from our group met the victim and her mother and assured that we would help her.

What do you think what amendments we need to bring in law concerning rape cases so to make our society a rape-free society?

The laws should be made stricter and their implementation should be quite effective so that no one dares to commit such crime in future.

Message to the readers

Set a goal and commit yourself to it. Both men and women have equal rights. We should respect each other.

Lobsang jigmey Says-   Thursday, March 20, 2014
 བཀྲས་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས། དཔེ་ཡག་པོ་རག་ལེ། congrats