On Independence Day, 15th August 2013, Sumita Sinha, Executive Director of Charushila led a workshop at the school with the residential students.
Charushila is a small charity focusing on the empowerment of the individual and the community through participation and engagement.
Charushila engages in projects, research and events connected with the creation of public spaces using sustainable and local resources, knowledge transfer and community engagement. Charushila believes that in particular, engaging with children and youth encourages their potential and creativity through positive interaction with the built and natural environments. The Sanskrit word 'Charushila' is made from Charu meaning 'Beautiful' and Shila meaning 'foundations'.
The children were asked to draw their vision of Ladakh's future or their environment (school/home) on long sheets which became 'horizontal tangkas'. Each group collaborated, debated, negotiated and finally drew their ideas on paper.
It was a fascinating process and the drawings themselves provided very revealing insights into what attracts, focuses and engages children into the built and natural environments. In particular, children were very close to the spiritual environment which is very dominant in the landscape and culture of Ladakh. Some significant themes emerged and could indicate further how children can become active citizens and responsible for future of Ladakhi society.