Komic is a village that is located in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, and is one of the world’s highest villages standing at an altitude of 15,000 ft. During the Summer and Autumn seasons, the temperature ranges between 10-20 degrees celsius. But it is during Winter that it becomes difficult to survive amidst the freezing cold. Its population is over a hundred and the village lacks proper educational infrastructure because the location is quite remote. To pursue an education, kids need to travel to neighbouring towns and villages where there are better facilities.
To battle this, a journalist named Portia Putatunda, who used to work in Mumbai and had a decade-long career, set up a free boarding school in Komic with whatever money she had saved from her job over the years.
In an interview with Indian Express, Portia spoke about their daily routine and the challenges she faces while running the school and there are plenty!
The school is a rustic building with six rooms which houses underprivileged kids from Spiti. Their day begins with lighting the indoor fireplace followed by heating milk and water for the kids. After having breakfast, they perform light exercises. Classes begin at 10 AM and continue till 2 PM.
After classes, the kids engage in fun activities like gardening and art which continue till dusk. Later, they have a nourishing meal followed by some warm milk and fruits. They go on to finish their homework and at the end of it all, they watch some television, finish dinner and go off to sleep.
There is a lack of manpower including teachers and staff, scarcity of resources like food supplies and unreliable power. Sometimes, there is no internet connectivity for days which hampers their communication and access to online resources. They are also short of funds but get financial help from some people who are kind enough to sponsor the school’s monthly expenses.
Despite it all, Portia is resilient and willing to overcome all hurdles to give the kids a better future. Kudos to her efforts!