17000 ft Foundation is a Not for Profit Organization setup with a focus to improve lives of people living in very remote villages, in areas that lie isolated and forgotten due to difficulties posed by tough terrain.
Sujata Sahu is the Founder of 17000 ft, and also the passion and the never-say-die-spirit behind it. An ex-corporate techie and a teacher by profession, a solo trek into Ladakh brought home the incredible difficulties of the region as she herself struggled to overcome her pulmonary edema. Keenly inspired by the simplicity of the people and their eagerness for a good education for their children, she founded 17000 ft, along with her husband to impact lives in the ignored and isolated villages of Ladakh. The backbone behind 17000 ft's educational initiatives, she is happiest when travelling and teaching children in the remote villages.
Sahu, as he is a known, is a serial entrepreneur and a die-hard Ladakhophile. He ran a successful communications agency for many years, giving it up to found a Not-for-Profit that took students to remote and rural areas for exposure on environment educational initiatives. Also, in his single long-standing corporate avatar, as the India Head, BTL Services, of M&C Saatchi, he brings on board some serious logistics capabilities and is the strategist and planner of 17000 ft. With his exposure to grassroots-level realities, combined with his extensive knowledge of remote Ladakh, we rely on him to head operations at 17000 ft and scale our organization to the heights it is intended for.
Dawa Jora - Director
Dawa Jora and his team at Splash Adventures is the Ladakhi arm of 17000 ft. A kind and gentle businessman, Dawa spends most of his time in charitable ventures and can often be found traveling to the remotest regions of Ladakh, providing support in education and healthcare in extremely inaccessible areas. His amazing resource mobilization skills even under the harshest of conditions and his ability to empower and motivate the local populace, is the reason behind 17000 ft’s credibility in Ladakh.
Fiona a microbiologists, an educator, an ex-professor at the St.Xavier's in Mumbai and a Volunteer by heart. She has worked with the NGO’s SNEHA and Muktangan and developed a program for sex education to adolescent kids in schools all over Mumbai. She still contributes her time to the Akanksha Foundation through their annual art exhibition. As an educator, Fiona focuses on imparting Health Education amongst youth and women. Our Ambassador in Mumbai and Overseas, Fiona actively campaigns in Corporates and Schools to raise awareness and help in Fundraising. Fiona is also actively involved in the teacher training programs of 17000 ft.
A Master’s in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Ajit has been in the communication and brand consultancy field for over three decades. Ajit’s interest lies in building brands out of products such that they are part of people’s lives, not just their shopping bags! Coming from the for profit sector to head 17000ft's livelihood programs, Ajit has channelised his interest to similarly impact lives in rural Ladakh.
Suresh is a senior HR professional with over 25 years of experience across varied sectors. As the HR leader of the International business of India’s largest private sector bank, and in his last corporate position as the HR leader at the Holding Company of a large multi business Indian conglomerate, Suresh has been instrumental from conceptualizing and instituting the people management framework and influencing and leading long range change initiatives. Currently on a sabbatical, Suresh is spending time with various causes and organizations that he is passionate about, particularly helping 17000 ft to grow and spread its reach.
Nalina brings the corporate dimension in ensuring the best positioning of 17000ft in all external facing interventions and communications. She is an astute business professional endowed with instinct and vast experience in not just building businesses, but also inspiring and facilitating individual, team and organization level excellence. Currently an executive search professional with a global firm, Nalina also contributes in carrying the inspiring story of 17000ft to her large network of friends, and fellow business-influencers.
Delek Namgyal, one of the oldest and seniormost facilitators of the Leh Office, is the Pied Piper of 17000 ft. He is happiest when interacting with children as they are, following him around for his activities. Very spiritual and deeply committed, if he isn't travelling in remote areas, he is probably deep in Archery practice or playing the guitar.
Palmo, as she is known, is the young, grand old lady of 17000 ft. Having been with 17000 ft from almost the very beginning, if Palmo doesn't know about it, it simply hasn't happened. Belonging to a very remote village of Ladakh herself, Palmo is a staunch believer of the work we do and supports it fiercely.
Zakir is from Kargil and the most sincere, committed and energetic member of our team. Deeply dedicated to the cause, Zakir has high hopes for our Kargil team and is all set to beat the achievements of the Leh Office. More power to you, Zakir!