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Shaken but not stirred by disaster

Stanzin Dolkar can't forget the night of August 6 that saw a cloudburst taking hundreds of lives in Leh.

other Updated: Sep 11, 2010 02:14 IST
Saurabh Duggal

Stanzin Dolkar can't forget the night of August 6 that saw a cloudburst taking hundreds of lives in Leh.

More than a dozen houses in her immediate neighbourhood were washed away.

Two of her maternal cousins are still missing and the body of a third one was found a couple of days back.

A 19-year-old namesake ice hockey player from her former team, SECMOL, also lost her life.

Like any other Ladakhi, who had witnessed the natural calamity, Dolkar is shaken, but the 27-year-old has a mission to fulfil --- to ensure the growth of women's ice hockey in Leh. And, the mission is helping her somewhat overcome the tragedy.

She along with Rinchen Dolma (19) is going to Kuala Lumpur on an invitation from Malaysia Ice Hockey Federation to be part of a local team in a tournament starting September 22 and to discuss the opportunities of collaboration between the two countries to develop ice hockey.

"It wouldn't be easy to get over the tragedy. I rushed to help my neighbours and even pulled three of them out from the collapsed houses. The water damaged my house as well, but the houses that were across the road were washed away," said Dolkar, who is being supported by the Ladakh Winter Sports Club.

"I believe everyone should move on and I think our visit to Malaysia would help more and more girls from Leh pursue the sport seriously," added Dolkar, a sports instructor in the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Department.

Dolkar rued that two ice hockey players, including a talented 16-year-old Ritzin, lost their lives in the flash floods. The player, who was featured in a Swedish documentary ‘Thin Ice' in 2006, hopes the development of the sport among girls in Leh would keep the memories of those who passed away alive.

Rinchen Dolma, who was in Chandigarh at the time of the cloudburst, couldn't sleep for the first couple of days after the tragedy as the telephone link with Leh got severed.

Rinchen, who is pursuing graduation in Chandigarh, said, "Though there was no effect of the cloudburst on our village, Spetu, we are all disturbed with what happened in Ladakh."

The player was declared the best woman athlete at the 2008 National Games in Gulmarg and has represented the country in the junior World Speed Skating Championship in Finland (2005) and Romania (2006).

She said that she would like to help Dolkar popularise the sport.