Ananya (adj.)

‘Unique’, ‘no other’ or ‘one with no parallel’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit. 

My name is a perfect example of irony – it means ‘unique’ but it is one of the most common names in India, which is where I’m from.

Hello! My name is Ananya Saluja, and I’m your average seventeen-year old girl. I study in the 11th grade at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari. I volunteered during my last two summer vacations in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. I taught children in the schools of remote villages through the 17000 ft Foundation. It was the most life changing experience, and the children’s amazing reactions and responses made even the occasional accompanying altitude sickness worth it.

Through this blog I hope to share my experiences with you, and maybe inspire you enough to lend a helping hand and help change the lives of these children.

Frequently Asked Questions (or things you may just be wondering about):

1) Ladakh?
As aforementioned, Ladakh is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and is a cold desert. It is in Northern India among the Himalayan mountains. The weather here is often described as a child’s temperament – extremely unpredictable, and I couldn’t agree more! Ranging from an altitude of 9,000-25,200 feet, it is home to the highest motorable road on the Khardung La pass (18,400 feet) and the highest battleground (Siachen). The people here are the most pleasant natured people you’ll ever meet – welcoming you into their houses as if you’re one of their own kin, forever smiling despite being subjected to such difficult living conditions. Seeing the wide grins on the rosy cheeks of the children can melt even your fingers which are sure to freeze from the temperatures which are likely to fall below 0 ⁰C. Running water, electricity and bathrooms are rare, and this land is untouched by first world luxuries like wifi, internet and fast food.

Ladakh is truly a sight to behold, perhaps the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited, fit to be called ‘heaven on earth’.

2) Where did you get the idea?
My aunt heard about 17000 ft Foundation, and mentioned it to me as a possibility for this summer. I love both children and teaching, and so I didn’t hesitate before agreeing to her idea. The rest, of course, is history!

3) What is this blog?
This blog is almost like a journal I kept while in Ladakh- a day to day summary of everything I did, the highlights and hardships faced and just how much this experience has changed my life.

I hope you find inspiration here, to help the children in Ladakh out as well, because I know in the end it’ll change your life more than you’ll ever change theirs.

Written by Ananya Saluja

I’m your average seventeen-year old girl from New Delhi studying in the 12th grade at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari. I volunteered during my last three summer vacations in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, teaching children in the schools of remote villages through the 17000 ft Foundation. It was the most life changing experience, and the childrens’ amazing reactions and responses made even the occasional accompanying altitude sickness worth it.

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