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‘I Am Honouring My Dad’s Memory With Free Boarding School In India’s Highest Village’

Portia Putatunda left a career in Mumbai and moved to Komic village in Spiti to start a free boarding school under Planet Spiti Foundation that provides food, shelter, education, and clothing to underprivileged children.

‘I Am Honouring My Dad’s Memory With Free Boarding School In India’s Highest Village’

Portia Putatunda, a successful journalist in Mumbai, found her life taking an unexpected turn when tragedy struck. The loss of her only parent, her father, left her in deep grief.

“I lost myself when my father passed away. He had always been my support system. I went into depression, and nothing seemed right. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was gone, and I felt disconnected,” she shares.

In search of the elusive connection to her late father, Portia sought solace in the mountains. “I thought that if I could be high up in the mountains, I would be closer to heaven, and thus, closer to my father,” she reflects.

While on this personal quest, she visited Kaza in Spiti Valley, where the realisation of the dire need for a free education system for underprivileged children struck her.

So in 2020, she made a life-altering decision to quit her job and career to relocate to Spiti. For approximately two years, she immersed herself in Kaza, dedicating her time to teaching underprivileged students for free, and conducting classes beneath a tree.

In 2022, she embarked on a new chapter in Komic — the highest village in India — by establishing a free boarding school for underprivileged kids. Starting with just three children, the school has since grown to accommodate 10.

Portia, lovingly known as a ‘mother’ to these children, attributes her greatest inspiration and motivation to her late father.

If you’re interested in supporting Portia’s cause, you can contact her at 93680 68121. (Given that Komic is a remote village with limited network connectivity, reaching out via WhatsApp would be the most effective option.)

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)

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