A group of five of us from Malaysia, led by Jampal embarked on a relief and aid mission to Ladakh on 16 August 2010. Prior to our departure, we have been urging all other members to help collect donations and items that are needed for the flood victims such as warm clothing, blankets, masks and gloves etc. Of those used clothing that we received, we did a quality control selection as we feel that what we give to others have to be in good and clean condition. In fact the co-ordinator of the NGOs specifically discourages used clothing on the rationale that the victims have lost everything, the least they expect was dignity in the hour of crisis.
On the day of departure, we checked in approximately 300kg of carton boxes. On this, special thanks to Jet Airways for according us a total of 200kg of excess baggage on humanitarian ground. Also thanks to Jigme Yangdzom for her help to sort out and pack all the contributions from donors. Upon arrival in Delhi, we offloaded some of the carton boxes containing warm clothing for Ladakh Student Union who promised to deliver on our behalf as they managed to procure free daily baggage allowance from Kingfisher Airline.
When we arrived in Ladakh, we visited some affected villages and relief camps. Through our discussion with the person-in charge of the Choglamsar Camp (being the largest relief camp) and Maney Tselding Camp (Leh), the things most needed then was LPG gas supply, a controlled item which requires registration. Though the meeting organized by Inter-Agency Coordinator Committee for all the NGOs, we further confirmed that none of the NGOs present was planning to provide gas supply. Hence we proposed to His Holiness the idea of supplying gas and stove to the affected families as we believe this cooking facility will benefit them in a long way even after they have been relocated from the camp. His Holiness liked the idea and agreed that this distribution will form part of the Rps 5 million Relief and Aid Fund that he has pledged to help the affected families.
With the help of the chairman of Drukpa Youth Association (YDA), Tsewang Namgyal, we went on to procure the gas supply and stove from a local distributor. On 22 August, we made our first distribution at Tashi Gatshal Camp at around 3pm. The Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomus Hill Development Council Leh, Mr. Chering Dorjay was there to witness our effort. A total of 34 sets of gas tank and stove were delivered to the site, and Gen Chiba managed in time to get each stove labeled with the logo "Live To Love". Prior to the distribution, YDA Chairman made a brief introduction of our organization and then explained to them the registration procedures for the gas supply. Once the registration was completed, Jampal & Namgyal officially distribute the gas to each of the families. The whole distribution process took around 3 hours.
Due to the sudden demand for the gas supply, the distributor was only able to supply us the quantity required in stages. We have actually ordered another 230 sets but that could only be delivered after 25th August. We left Ladakh on 25th, therefore the remaining stocks will be distributed by YDA members to other camps and villagers in due course. YDA chairman, Namgyal, Rigzin, Gen Chiba and other members there in Ladakh have been working so hard on the relief efforts visiting numerous villages and some are so remote and inaccessible by roads. We truly admire their "Live To Love" spirits!