First of all i want to introduce our team. So we went with Michael and Jana to Zanskar. These two are Photographers and Jana is also a journalist. We had a Driver and of course Marlene, and me.
It really takes a long time and also nerves out of steel to reach the special kids in Zanskar. The road is very bad, and you need to ask many people to finally find the house where the kids are staying. But still then it is not sure, that the Child is at home. Sadly, we couldn’t go to every kid, because the situation of the road was just too bad and it was not possible to get there.
The first Day we went from Kargil to Padum. Yes, the whole distance in one day. For those who never been there, it takes you 14 hours. At that day we only looked after S. T. in Rangdum. He is 20 years now and is working in the only guest house in Rangdum. We found him laughing and talking with his friends, so he is well integrated in the social life. We made him out of air ballons and lenses a ball for his strength in the left hand and gave him some exercises.
The next day started with P. Y. (33). We found her in a shelter outside the house. She was alone at home, but she can talk, so we got some information’s. Her father went to Padum for a few days, but the grandfather takes care of her. Sadly, she is staying the whole time in this shelter in the same position. Even by night. For the father it’s not possible to carry her inside every night. I was released as I heard that in the winter times she can stay in the house. The only thing that we could do was to clean her and to look after her open wounds. For me it was one of the saddest things I ever saw. But i also want to say that Padma seems very happy.
Further on we went to L. T. (28). Mostly we explained the parents what kind of issue L. has and what they can do. He has a big problem with concentrating and focussing but the parents try the best to integrate him in their daily work. We were very glad when we heard that he nearly visits every day P. (33) in her shelter, now they have each other to talk.
The next kid we found was S. L. (8) in Padum. It was a pleasure to see how father treated his son. He really loves S. and was very interested in what we told him. He also spent a lot of time to teach his kid, because S. can’t go to school. He has a big sensory disorder and is just too active for a normal school class. We showed him some treatments and we left them with a really good feeling in our heart.
That was our second day in the Zanskar valley. We visited 3 special kids. It seems like it’s nothing but as I already said it takes a lot of time to get there and all the other kids we looked for either moved to another place or were not at home.
And then it was Saturday and we went back to Rangdum. On the way we looked for 9 kids, but we found 4.
The first of this day was P. A. (18). His main problem is hand writing, so we gave him some tricks to improve this. But sadly, because of his bad hand writing, he can’t do the exams to get into the next class, so until now he will stay at home. We hope that he maybe can do it next year, so he may have social contacts again. For him it is hard to help at home, so he has no work and no motivation to do something. But he was so happy when he saw that he can write better now and also as we gave him a ball that he can play soccer.
After Packsang we went to Z. G. (6). She is very lucky to have her mother who takes really good care of her. She makes every evening the exercises we showed her last year and carry her the whole day along with her. It was nice to see something like that.
L. Y. (20) is not so lucky to get that much support from the parents. We found her alone with her sister at home, so it was not possible to get that much information about her. But the good thing is, that she can help a little bit at home and for that kind of disability it is the best way to treat herself. She just needs to do the work and there is no excuse.
The next patient was S. Y. (26). For her its mostly the same as for L.Y. She need to climb the ladder and jump over a small river to come to her home. Here the family is also a big problem, not much support. She wasn’t treated very well even when we stayed in the same room. It is not a good feeling to leave these kids behind. They are not able to argue or fight for their right in this kind of family. But S. found a solution. The mother told us that she mostly spent time outside and roams around all over the village.
And that was also the last patient for that day and we have been very exhausted after sitting in the car for such a long time.
There was only one patient left on the way back home from Rangdum to Kargil. That was Ch. D.. She is 79 years old and has knee pain. We showed her some exercises and she also needed glasses. I was very surprised that we have some with us that fitted.
And that was the Zanskar Fieldtrip. After 4 days looking for the kids and leaving with the sad knowledge that we did could not help all the children we reached Kargil and we all were very happy to be back. It was a great adventure. It was a challenge for us to be at the remote places with our patients as physiotherapist with very little equipment, a bad medical situation, and not very many chances to help the beneficiaries to become independent. It takes a lot of time and effort to improve the situation of our special children and the other patients. In my opinion one of the most important things is to change the thinking of the public in the villages about the needs and situation of special kids. It is difficult to accomplish that in a few days, but at least we tried to change the thinking of a few parents. Therefore, it is very important to continue the fieldtrips in the future because even though it is little we can do, it is of great help for the families.
Best greetings from Kargil and thank you all for supporting us.
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