The Village

The vil­la­ge of Yulchung
Youl­chung is a scat­te­red sett­le­ment at 4,000 metres above sea level in the north Indi­an Hima­la­yas. Geo­gra­phi­cal­ly, it is situa­ted bet­ween the Indus Val­ley and Zanskar.

Twel­ve fami­lies with an average of three child­ren each live in this moun­tain vil­la­ge. During six mon­ths a year the vil­la­ge is cut off from the out­side world. This small moun­tain vil­la­ge is only acces­si­ble during the sum­mer over the recent­ly built road. Even with a pick-up, dri­ving is hard howe­ver, as a gre­at deal of the rou­te con­sists of a dirt track sown with potholes.

Yul­chung village

About ever­y­day life in Youl­chung and in the Sen­ge La area
Most peop­le in the Sen­ge La area are far­mers and live in vil­la­ges in val­leys that lie at a con­s­i­derable distan­ce from each other. Cul­ti­va­ti­on of the fiel­ds is only pos­si­ble in the time bet­ween May and Sep­tem­ber. Above all, the far­mers grow wheat and bar­ley. In their vege­ta­ble gar­dens they har­vest peas, cabba­ge, car­rots, chard and leek and store the pro­du­ce for the long and hard winter.

A well thought out irri­ga­ti­on sys­tem sup­plies the gar­dens with water.

Up to now, the elec­tri­ci­ty sup­ply in the area of Sin­ge La has eit­her been non-exis­tent or very poor. Sin­ce the buil­ding of the new solar plant above the vil­la­ge of Yul­chung which was finis­hed in Octo­ber 2015, the sur­roun­ding vil­la­ges have been sup­plied with elec­tri­ci­ty in the evening for appro­xi­mate­ly three hours. Every hou­se taps power direct­ly from the over­head line. In the hou­ses, the­re are at the moment still no swit­ches and swit­ching on and off is con­trol­led centrally.

In the vil­la­ge its­elf, the­re are neit­her fixed tele­pho­ne con­nec­tions nor a net­work for mobi­le pho­nes. Dis­ket Dol­ma was cho­sen to be the speaker for the Women’s Coope­ra­ti­ve. She gives any news to the taxi dri­ver who shut­tles bet­ween Leh and Yul­chung who then pas­ses on the infor­ma­ti­on to Lob­zang. He is my direct con­tact part­ner. This is how we com­mu­ni­ca­te with each other during the sum­mer months.