Tough Women of Ladakh
The women who pave the roads to heaven on earth here at Ladakh, are not only robust but play a pivotal role in keeping tourism alive and bustling. These women are the contract employees of the BRO (Border Road Organization), some migrants and some locals. Their daily routine is to hike up the mountains and clear the snow from roads on their way to Khardung La, one of the highest motorable passes of the world, where temperatures dip down to -30/-40 degrees every night. The morning canvas is the roads with 3 to 4 feet high of snow. The altitude of upto 17000 feet makes it even tougher to work in these harsh cold conditions . They start their day as early as 8 am and work 8 long hours but always happy and smiling and without fail look cool in their colourful attire against the magnificent snow backdrops. After 3 failed attempts to make it to the top due to road blockage, when we finally made it to Khardung La, I was happy to rendezvous with these women near south pull check post, who carried tales of their daily routine and some packed home food to share. This year there's been heavy snow fall and most of the high passes near Leh were blocked in later half of February.