Nearly three quarters of the population of Leh, India’s second-largest district, is thinly spread across 112 villages. Farmers in this high-altitude cold desert area perpetually face the challenges of a fragile ecosystem of high-altitude locations. Irrigation of arable land, for instance, is fully dependent on meltwater from the glaciers. With the glaciers receding, farmers face reduced availability of meltwater during the short growing season. Extreme weather conditions cause regular damage to the channel systems of gravity-based irrigation.
Tata Trusts became operational in the district in 2008, in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council. This collaboration led to the development of a comprehensive micro-plan for all the villages in Leh, which is an essential reference document even today.
Along with its many stakeholders, including the local administration and local NGOs, Tata Trusts focus their investment in Leh on improving:
Tata Trusts are currently associated with 30 villages, and will expand its scope of operations while also deepening the scale of potentially high-impact interventions. On the anvil are development of water resources and adding more crops to the value chain development systems. Leh Livelihood Development Initiative is an opportunity for Tata Trusts to implement situation-specific interventions that are both ecologically and socially sensitive.
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