Druk Padma Karpo School, Leh
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2018: Rancho Wall razed
The Druk Padma Karpo School, which shot to fame after the release of the Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, has decided to raze the ‘Rancho Wall’ and ban entry of tourists.
The brick structure — on which one of the characters, Chatur, attempts to urinate but gets an electric shock instead — was later painted up as the ‘Rancho Wall’ and had become a tourist attraction.
“The movie gave a lot of publicity to the school and it became a must-visit site for tourists to Ladakh. However, we realised that not only were students getting distracted, but the campus was being reduced to a litter ground by tourists,” school principal Stanzin Kunzang said.
“Inspired by the vision of His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual leader of Ladakh, the school aims to provide modern education for Ladakhi children, an education grounded in their own culture and one which can prepare them for a happy and productive life,” Kunzang said.
Set up in 1998 by the Druk Padma Karpo Education Society, the school was partially destroyed in the flash floods and landslides that hit the town in 2010. It was later renovated. The school has won numerous awards for its architecture.
At present, there are 719 students in the school, of which 281 are residential students from remote areas. The rest are day scholars.
“The building is shaped like a key and promotes education as the key to life. It is environment-friendly and has no need of heaters despite the severe winter that the region experiences,” Kunzang said. “The buildings are oriented in such a manner that sunshine keeps the rooms warm. During winters, when there is no sun, the school remains closed,” he said.