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Wings for women: The year 2016-17 at a glance
By Rinchen Angmo Chumikchan, Friday, February 2, 2018

The end of December is a time when we reflect on what has happened over the past 12 months and look through an optimistic lens at what the New Year might bring. In many ways,  2016 -17 inspired and emboldened women and girls of Ladakh. For the very first time, Indian National Women’s Ice Hockey team comprised of 19 women from Ladakh represented India in the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, 2016, held in Chinese Taipei from March 22 to 26,  four young  girls  from Ladakh brought laurels to the region by scaling the World’s highest peak, the Mount Everest in 2016, Tsering Dolker from Matho village made her place in J&K first Women’s Football team, and most inspiring was Dr. Tsering Palmo who received the FACE International Award 2017 on December 8,2017 at Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi.

Amidst all these achievements, there were some sad incidents that took place in the last two years which can not be overlooked. The molestation case of an MBBS Ladakhi student by HOD, Forensic Department, of GMC, Jammu in December 2016 sparked outrage among the people of Ladakh. In another shocking incident, a doctor was arrested for molesting more than 10 girls in Nyoma. This anniversary issue will take you back to all the women related events and issues of 2016-17 that made the headlines in Reach Ladakh Bulletin. 

Self-defence training for women organized

A ten days self-defence training for women in Wushu under Civic Action programme of J&K police was organized by District Police Leh in collaboration with Wushu Association Leh at Eliezer Joldan Memorial College, Leh. Senior Superintendent of Police, Leh Sunil Gupta said that such kind of initiatives would help reduce crime rate against women. 
Team Secmol beat Siachen Angels by 4-3 points in 9th CEC Ice Hockey Championship

In the final match played between Siachen Angels and SECMOL Women Ice Hockey team on 21 January , at Ice Hockey Rink, Karzoo, the team SECMOL beat Siachen Angels. The match was organized by District Youth Services & Sports officer and Ladakh Winter Sports Club Leh supported by Hill Council, Leh.  Tsewang Chuskit, captain of the SECMOL team said that women can excel in the game if they are given equal opportunity as men.
JK Red Women won 4th Women’s National Ice Hockey Championship 

JK Red Women team defeated JK Blue in the 4th Women’s National Ice Hockey Championship Tournament played at Karzoo Ice Hockey Rink Leh, organized by Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) with support from Ladakh Winter Sports Club (LWSC) on 16th January.

Women of Ladakh celebrated Women’s Day; discussed participation of women in politics 

International women’s day was jointly celebrated by Women’s Wing of Ladakh Buddhist Association, Anjuman Imamia Leh, Anjuman moin-ul-Islam and Christian Community at Shenam Community Hall. Women leaders spoke on the importance of participation of women in policy and decision making.

Conference held on right to recognition of nuns in Ladakh’s society

A one day conference on the contribution of nuns in art, culture and language of Ladakh was held on 19 March at Lotsava Auditorium, Leh.  The conference was organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Leh in collaboration with  Ladakh Nuns Association. President, Ladakh Nuns Association Dr. Tsering Palmo said that earlier nuns were not treated equally as monks but with time the attitude of the society towards nuns is changing. She added that the society needs to give equal status to nuns and should encourage them to pursue modern education and lead a better life.

Ladakhi girls represented India in IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia

Indian National Women’s Ice Hockey team comprised of 19 women, all from Ladakh, represented India in the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, 2016, held in Chinese Taipei from March 22 to 26. Noor Jahan was awarded the Best Goaltender Award and Deachen Dolker was declared the best player of the tournament. 

Women's alliance strives to end dowry system in Ladakh

A brainstorming session on Dowry and marriage-related issues in Ladakh were carried out by Women Alliance of Ladakh on April 15 at Shaynam community hall. It was part of the awareness campaign carried out to end the growing practice of dowry in Ladakh. Meanwhile, Women’s Alliance set rules for marriage rituals in Leh.
Four Leh girls scaled Mt Everest

Exhibiting indomitable spirit and grit, four young girls from Leh district (Stanzin Laskit of Ney, Rigzin Dolker of Nubra, Tsering Angmo of Spituk and Tashi Laskit of Stok) who were part of an NCC cadet girls' contingent of 10 members, scaled the World’s highest peak on May 22. 

‘Dong-len’, the first movie on women empowerment released

The new movie ‘Donglen’ that highlights the struggle of a woman and how she fights to overcome the problems in her life, produced by Dayangs Film production was premiered on 4 July at Community Hall, Diskit Tsal, Leh. The film was of a different genre, dedicated to women.

Dalai Lama said "women’s empowerment must” for all-round progress

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was welcomed at Nyarma Nunnery monastery on 12 August to offer Rab-nas (consecration ritual). Taking about empowering Buddhist nuns, he strongly recommended nuns to do in-depth religious analysis, studies and to practically implement in life so that nuns can also earn the degree of Geshes-ma (Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks and nuns). He said historically, the academic doctorate degree in Tibetan Buddhism is awarded only to the monks, but now nuns can also earn the degree.

Women of Leh demanded women’s cell, street light and public toilets

Focusing on the much-neglected women's rights, a meeting was convened to discuss women's issues and problems on November 7 at the Council Secretariat by Women Welfare Network Society, Leh, in collaboration with Nominated Councillor, Rinchen Lhamo. It highlighted the insensitivity towards women issues related to women’s safety and security. The representatives demanded a women’s cell, facilities of legal assistance to women, and timely delivery of justice with the help of first track court.
Three women received Sanjoy Ghose Rural Reporting award 2016-17

Anzara Anjum Khan, Dechen Dolker and Tsewang Dolma were honoured with Sanjoy Ghose Rural Reporting Award by Delhi-based NGO, Charkha Development Communication Network on December 7 at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. 

Here are some of the top stories that made headlines in the year 2017

Crime against women on the rise, but conviction rate dips

Ladakh condemned molestation case in GMC, Jammu where an MBBS Ladakhi student was molested by the HOD of the Forensic Department. Condemning the molestation case, the whole business establishment of Leh remained shut for a day on January 7 and a protest rally was carried out on January 10 by All Ladakh Women Association, Leh.

District Legal Service Authority, Kargil, reached out to save girl child

An awareness program on the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme was organized by District Legal Service Authority, at District Court Complex, Kargil on January 21. Chairman TLSC and Munsiff/ JMIC Sankoo, Tsewang Phuntsog talked about the important provisions regarding the registration of Genetic Counselling Centers/Laboratories/Clinics under Section-18, necessity of the written consent of pregnant women and prohibition of determining the sex of foetus under Section-5, maintenance of records under Section-29, Section-27, providing offence under PNDT Act as cognizable and non-bailable offence. 

International Women's Day marked by educating women on legal rights in Leh

International women’s day was celebrated by giving Legal rights awareness to the women of Leh at Polo ground Leh. The programme was organized by Ladakh Women Welfare Network in collaboration with District Bar Association, Leh.

Team India won two matches of Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, Bangkok

People of Ladakh accorded a grand welcome to the Women Ice Hockey team who represented India in Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia on March 19 at KBR Airport, Leh. The team won two matches out of six matches which were played in Bangkok from March 7 to 15.  A total of seven countries including Malaysia, Thailand, UAE, Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore, and India participated.

Leh lacks proper toilet facilities for women

To find a better solution for the lack of public toilet facilities in Leh, Ladakh Women Welfare Network held a meeting on 'Let's join hand for clean and functional public toilet in Leh' on April 12 at NAC building, Leh. Keeping in mind various challenges, women discussed the importance of adopting tradition dry composed toilet.
Women trained in skill development under project Lakrtsal 
With an aim to improve the handicraft skills of women, three days training for the local women of Changthang and Phyang was organised by JKEDI under the initiative of DC, Leh on May 9 at EJM College, Leh.

Doctor held for molesting more than 10 girls in Nyoma

The Nyoma police on May 17 arrested a 36 -year-old doctor for allegedly molesting a teenage girl under the pretext of examining her. Later it came to light that the Doctor had molested more than 10 girls.

Avny Lavasa takes charge as new Deputy Commissioner, Leh

Avny Lavasa, IAS of the 2013 batch was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Leh district on September 14. She took over the charge from Prasanna Ramasamy G who was transferred as DC Reasi Jammu.

Sargun Shukla takes charge as SSP, Leh

Sargun Shukla, IPS of the 2012 batch took over the charge from Udaya Bhaskar Billa. Perhaps, this is for the first time in the history of Ladakh that both the DC and SSP are women.

Ladakhi girl made her place in J&K first Women’s Football team
A girl from Ladakh, Tsering Dolker from Matho village made her place in the J&K Women’s Football team.The first J&K women’s football team was formed under the title of Chief Minister’s Women XI Football Team on November 23. Meanwhile, Tsering Angmo, Incharge, District sports council office, Leh, was selected as the Manager of the State Women Football team.

Ven Dr. Tsering Palmo honoured with FACE International Women Leadership Award, 2017

Dr. Tsering Palmo, President Ladakh Nuns Association was honoured with FACE International Women Leadership Award, 2017 on December 8 at an event held at Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi. The function was organised by FACE India International Foundation for Art, Culture and Education to project women’s strength, stories and struggle. A total of 17 women were felicitated.

Six girls from Kargil selected for National-level TT championship

A group of six girls from Kargil district were flagged off on December 27 to play National-level TT championship held at Gujarat from January 3 to 7, 2018. They are Asiya Fatima and Hakima Banoo (Under-19 category), Mehroon Nissa and Nasreen Fatima( Under-17 category), and Archo Syeda and Shabana Batool( Under-14 category).
Although in many ways 2016 -2017 saw many significant achievements of women, it also witnessed some sad incidents which cannot be overlooked. I hope there is no turning back, and that the coming year will see a concerted effort by all of us to ensure a safe environment for women and they are encouraged to spread their wings and do wonders.

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