STATE TIMES NEWS LEH: With an aim to encourage reading in children and to promote development of the native Bhoti language, 17000 ft Foundation, on the occasion of Children’s Day, released 21 story books in Bhoti for free distribution into all government and monastery schools of Leh District. Working in close collaboration with the Drepung Loseling Pethub Khangtsen Education Society, these 21 titles, chosen from popular titles of Pratham Books and Scholastic Books, were translated by scholars from the society under the guidance of Geshe Konchok Wangdu, Director CIBS, Leh. Around 21,000 copies of these titles were translated, published in Delhi and sent to Leh for the event, from where they were distributed free of cost to 350+ schools of Leh District. A celebration to mark this event was held at the Nagarjuna Auditorium, CIBS Complex, chaired by Dr. Sonam Dawa, Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Leh and presided by Prasanna Ramaswamy G, DC, Leh, in the presence of Dorjay Motup- EC (Works), Tsering Wangdus- (Agri. & RD), Jail Kumar-Chief Education Officer, Konchok Angmo-Principal DIET, Thinles-LBA President, Abdul Gaffar-Vice President Anjuman Moin-ul-islam, Ashraf Ali- President Anjuman Immamia and other dignitaries. Two special guests who flew in from Delhi, Himanshu Giri-CEO Pratham Books and Neeraj Jain-Managing Director Scholastic India were also present for the unveiling of their books in a new language. ZEOs, headmasters and teachers from many schools, some as far as Fotoksar, Lingshed, Skurbuchan and Satoo were also present for the event. The event was conducted by the founder of 17000 ft, Sujata Sahu, Dawa Jora-Director 17000 ft and Geshe Konchok Wangdu. The senior dignitaries spoke on the event, followed by the unveiling of the books and a book reading by the CEC himself, much to the delight of all present. Students from M/S Samkar presented a show from two of the books, complete with costumes, props and effects. The Founder, Sujata Sahu, speaking on the event, thanked all the distinguished guests for their presence, and made a plea to all teachers to ensure that they continue to issue books to children to help them read. “This is a landmark event for us, something that we have been working hard for almost two years to make happen and we are very happy to present this to the children of Ladakh,” she said. She also talked about another project that her foundation is working on, that of publishing Ladakhi folk stories from across the region into multiple languages and making them available for other children to read.
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