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Synopsis of the Project

Summary of Goals
Proposed Activities
Duration of the Project
Activities: the Seven Components of the Project


Synonpsis of the project

Name of the Project: Literacy Program in Zangskar (LPZ)

Implementing Agency: Sakyadhita Zangskar (a branch of Sakyadhita International)

Address: Literacy Program in Zangskar
c/o Ms. Murup Dolma
Sakyadhita Ladakh
Leh, Ladakh 194 101
Jammu & Kashmir State

Society Registration Number: Application in Process
Date of Registration: To be supplied
Place of Registration: Jammu

Coordinator in Ladakh:
Ms. Murup Dolma
Sakyadhita Zangskar
Leh, Ladakh 194 101
J&K State

Coordinator in Zangskar:
Sonam Namgyal (Pikongma)
President, Zangskar Buddhist Association
P.O. Padum, Zangskar
Zangskar, J&K State

Zangla Program Office:
Coordinators: Munshi Tsering
Assistants: Sra. Lobsang Palmo, Sra. Stanzin Chozin
Changchub Choling Monastery
Village Zangla, P.O. Padum
Zangskar, Zangskar, J&K State

Karsha Program Office:
Coordinator: Sonam Namgyal
Assistants: Sra. Lobzang Palmo, Sra. Lobzang Chodron
Khachoe Drubling Monastery (Chuchik Shal)
Village Karcha, P.O. Padum
Zangskar, Zangskar, J&K State

Pishu Program Office:
Coordinator: Gen Norbu
Assistants: Sra. Tukje Wangmo, Sra. Tenzin Drolma
Pishu Monastery
Village Pishu, P.O. Padum
Zangskar, J&K State

Liason in Delhi for Further Information on Application:
Sonam Norboo Shurkhapa
A-101, Prince Apartments
Plot No. 54, I.P. Extension
Patparganj, Delhi 110 092
Ph: 246-7046
Fax: 242-1502


Literacy Program in Zangskar is a program to promote literacy efforts among women from low-income families in undeveloped rural areas of Zangskar. Women are currently engaged in traditional agriculture work which is insufficient to meet the needs of the women and their families. These women understand that basic literacy skills can play an important role in improving the standard of living of their families and villages.

Summary of goals

The program aims to promote basic literacy and self-sufficiency skills among the women of Zangskar, which is one of the neediest areas of the Himalayan region. to promote gender equity and community development through providing women with basic literacy skills. In addition, it aims at promoting leadership and social awareness, healthcare, alternative technologies, and environmental awareness.

Proposed activities

LPZ undertakes educational activities to assist women achieve greater confidence and self-sufficiency. The program consists of seven components:

  • Basic literacy skills
  • Intermediate reading skills
  • Readings in traditional literature
  • Beginning composition
  • Readings on healthcare for women and children
  • Basic math skills
  • Leadership training

Beneficiaries of the program

In all, more than 3,600 beneficiaries are proposed to be covered by this program. Activities will be offered to all women regardless of age, educational background or marital status.

Duration of the project

The project will be spread over a period of 2 years. After two years, an evaluation will be conducted to assess the achievements of the program and determine future goals.

Long-range Goals

All LPZ programs are aimed at the empowerment of women through achieving basic literacy and increasing reading skills. Gradually, activities to increase social awareness in such areas as women and children's health, family planning, environment, alternative energy, substance abuse, gender discrimination, and so on will be introduced.


The literacy programs implemented by LPZ are expected to achieve literacy among all women under the age of 60 in the pilot projects in the villages of Karsha, Pishu, and Zangla by the end of the second year of their operation. At that time the projects will be evaluated and expanded to additional villages.


  1. To achieve literacy among women in remote and underdeveloped areas of Zangskar.
  2. To organize workshops to formulate the educational needs of women in Zangskar.
  3. To implement literacy projects and additional education projects as needed to empower women in hardship areas of Zangskar with a view to strengthening their effectiveness in community development and also preparing them to participate in future income-earning activities.
  4. To create awareness and solidarity among women and enable them to articulate their problems and needs at the policy level.
  5. To help develop an infrastructure to improve the health and well-being of women and children in Zangskar.
  6. To develop a database on the education and health needs of women in Ladakh
  7. To develop networks for exchanging information and skills between women's groups in Zangskar.
  8. To develop links with governmental and other organizations/programs in Zangskar and internationally.
  9. To help organize groups of women to help gain access to governmental and other schemes and facilities that may be available to them.
  10. To organize workshops and training programs to help women become aware of their rights and of local and outside facilities available to them.


This literacy program addresses the needs of women from low income households in Zangskar, Zangskar, a remote and barren Himalayan region located in the northernmost part of India. Zanskar is a mountainous area, with small villages located in narrow snow-covered valleys at heights of 12,000-20,000 feet. Agriculture, animal husbandry, and dairy farming are the main occupations of the people. Due to long, harsh winters, these occupations cannot adequately meet the people's basic needs. Women do a major share of the agricultural and animal husbandry operations. In spite of their unending labor, however, the high-altitude fields are not producing enough to meet the needs of their families, and inclement weather reduces their planting and harvesting opportunities. Many men leave the area in search of cash incomes, engaging in tourism and other occupations in Leh and other areas. Many women remain at home and labor alone, under great stress, to provide sustenance for their family. Although Zangskar is increasingly affected by a cash economy, income-generating activities for women are extremely limited. To benefit from economic development in the region, women need access to literacy and basic education tools. As educational opportunities become available to children in the region, women's literacy becomes increasingly important, also.

Activities: The seven component of the project

Literacy and related training by experts will be offered to the women in three different villages in Zangskar over a period of two years. Trainers will conduct classes in literacy on a daily basis, scheduled to accommodate women's daily life activities. Specific activities are scheduled as follows:

1. Basic literacy skills
Classes in basic literacy skills, including learning the Tibetan alphabet, conjoining the letters, and recognizing simple words.

2. Intermediate reading skills
After learning the alphabet, the conjoining of letter, and recognizing simple words, classes go on to read simple Tibetan language textbooks (I to IV).

3. Readings in traditional literature
Having completed Tibetan language textbooks I to IV, classes learn to read and understand simple passages in traditional Buddhist texts.

4. Beginning composition
In this phase, after practicing reading simple passages in traditional literature, classes begin writing simple sentences, including writing notes and simple letters.

5. Readings on healthcare for women and children
In this phase of the program, classes use simple texts on women’s and children's healthcare to improve the student's reading skills and develop their awareness of healthcare issues affecting women’s and children’s lives.

6. Basic math skills
In this phase, classes are conducted to help women develop basic skills in arithmetic, focusing on addition, subtraction, simple multiplication and division, that are useful for managing household expenses and simple commercial activities.

7. Leadership training
The final component of the program consists of leadership training programs to empower women and help them develop skills in communications, conflict resolution, and social awareness.

Budget: Estimates for the 5 components

The project budget includes salaries for staff training, tea and lunches for students, evaluation of program, books and supplies, and communications and postage.

Salaries for Staff Training 150 Women in Three Villages (per year)
3 Teachers @ $120 ea./mo for 10 mo. $3,600
3 Coordinators @ $80 ea./mo for 10 mo.) 2,400
6 Assistants @ Rs. $60 ea./mo. for 10 mo.) $ 3,600

Total $ 9,600

Tea and lunches for 150 students
Lunch (150 students @ $ .60 ea./day for 200 days) $ 1,800
Two teas (150 students @ $ .30 ea./day for 200 days)$ 900

Total $ 2,700

Program Evaluation
Travel expenses for team of 3 evaluators $ 600
Salaries (3 evaluators @ $ 120/mo for 1 mo.) $ 360

Total $ 960

Books and supplies
Textbooks (150 students @ $10) $ 1,500
Pens and notebooks (150 students @ $3) $ 450
Tables (150 @ $5) $ 750
Cushions (150 @ $2) $ 300
Transport $ 150

Total $ 3,150

Communications and postage
Fax $ 110
Phone $ 85
Postage $ 80

Total $ 275