SLC-IT's environmental education program is an integral part of the conservation strategy for the snow leopard and other threatened wildlife of Ladakh. It has been widely accepted and lauded by local people in general, and the pedagogical community, in particular. Currently, the program is being expanded into remote corners of Ladakh such as the Lungnak Valley in Zanskar. We believe that the protection of wildlife is contingent on concerted efforts by all sections of society – in particular on people in rural areas, who are important stakeholders because they share resources with snow leopards on a regular basis.
We thus need to reach out to rural communities and educate them about the environmental issues besetting Ladakh. To achieve this overarching goal, we started a program called ‘Students for Students’ (SfS) in 2014. This project facilitates interaction between Ladakhi college students studying outside Ladakh and school children/youth from Ladakh’s remote corners. It also gives an opportunity to Ladakhi graduate students to observe and learn from rural communities. So far, we have trained 36 Ladakhi students studying in various colleges and universities across India. We sent them to remote villages such as Turtuk, Tharuk, Puga, Rangdum and Raru villages where they taught school children.