On the 13th July a group of boys and teachers from Winchester College took to the skies, bound for Ladakh, Northern India. We travelled with the Lotus Flower Trust to help in the construction of hostel accommodation at the PAGIR disability home. The Lotus Flower Trust (LFT) is a charity, founded by John Hunt, with the aim of collaborating with corporations in order to fund the building of homes, schools and other facilities, in remote, rural, and often environmentally challenged, areas of India. This year, the LFT had teamed up with PAGIR (the People's Action Group for Inclusion and Rights), a local charity based in Ladakh, which needed help building hostel accommodation at their centre for disabled citizens from the Kashmir area. Before departure, through many different initiatives, the team had raised £32,000 to pay for the construction.
After a long 8 hour journey to Delhi we landed in humidity far beyond anything the majority of us had experienced before. The next day we caught a spectacular flight to Leh, with the plane weaving in and out of sheer rock faces and Himalayan peaks. It was strange looking out of the airplane window and seeing a mountain so close up. After a week of hard, sweaty labour, we had completed our part in the construction of the home. It was physically tiring but very rewarding.
We then went on a six day trek through the Himalayas, coping with long distances and altitude but rewarded with amazing scenery. It was a fantastic trip where we all learnt a lot. Many thanks to Mr Hart for his superb organisational skills, Mr Wilks and Mr Mercer for their brilliant support throughout the trip, John Hunt who makes this possible, and finally, our field doctor David Maclachlan who made sure we came back in one piece!