Thinlas Chorol, founder of the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company, wins Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar 2013

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Thinlas Chorol wins Jankidevi Bajaj PuraskarThinlas Chorol is the  founder of the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company(LWTC),the first travel company in Ladakh to be both owned and operated solely by women. Thinlas won the 2013 Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar Award from the Ladies’ Wing of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber in recognition of her outstanding contribution as an entrepreneur in the field of rural business development in India. She was presented the award by by noted philanthropist Rohini Nilekani.

Thinlas is a native Ladakhi from the village of Takmachik in the Sham region. Ladakh’s first professionally trained female trekking guide, she started working as a guide in 2003. A former SECMOL (Student’s Educational and Cultural Movement Of Ladakh) student, she started working for the organization’s travel agency ALS (Around Ladakh with Students) in 2004 while continuing to work as a freelance guide with other agencies in Leh. In 2007 Thinlas completed a mountaineering course at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, receiving an A grade for her performance. The following year she completed the spring semester course at NOLS – India (National Outdoor Leadership School), a reputed American-based training institute, gaining a diploma in wilderness activities and leadership skills. Since then she has worked as an instructional aide for NOLS during two of their courses in India, becoming the first Ladakhi ever to do so.She established LWTC in 2009 after being refused a job by local trekking agencies for being a woman.

Since her start as a guide in 2003, Thinlas has lead countless treks around Ladakh and is today working to bring more women into the field of tourism. A strong advocate for eco-friendly and community based tourism, such as homestays, she is constantly promoting sustainable development of the tourist industry. Aside from trekking, Thinlas has a BA from Jammu University and was awarded Charkha’s “Ladakhi Women’s Writers Award” in 2008. She also received a bronze medal in the National Ice Hockey Championship 2006.

 Source: http://www.ladakhiwomenstravel.com/

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