Follow the progress of the Klinik Ladakh project. These are the milestones we have reached so far!
Follow the progress of the Klinik Ladakh project. These are the milestones we have reached so far!
Land purchase for the dental clinic in Ladakh
In the summer of 2015, a property right by the Leh-Manali highway, opposite the Palace of the Dalai Lama in Choglamsar, is aquired for the future dental clinic. It is easily accessible via a highly-frequented street in the Ladakh division near Leh.
Founding of the Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbh and the Bright Mountain Dental Clinic Trust
Dr. Roos and his wife found the Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbH. On the Indian side, the Bright Mountain Deantal Clinic Trust is established as a registered Indian charity organization. Both organizations now assume responsibility for the construction and operation of the dental clinic.
Will it be possible to build a clinic in Germany that is so light that it will make the long journey to India to be out together there by only a few helpers?
The brainchild of creative specialists gave rise to an idea that made the Ladakh Clinic tangible at all in the first place: building clinic modules here in Germany, testing them, and then transporting them to India in containers. A bold plan, which – thanks to those specialst helpers – gradually takes shape, and it works out!
From the idea…
Together with the Instant-Home-Foundation e. V. in Reutlingen and the company Vöhringer GmbH in Trochtelfingen, the Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbH develops a plan to build and test a dental clinic and then transport it to India.
… to the planning …
An architectural firm from Germany and the USA designs the building and the unique panel construction, which can be transported, and put together by only a few people. The planning is carried out by the team of architects HANNAH (Frank Prochiner, Sasa Zivkovic, Alexander Chmarin). Representatives of the Rotary Club Stuttgart-Filder, as well as numerous craftsmen and many sponsors from trade and industry lend their indispensible support.
… to the realization of this project, countless diligent helpers have actively tackled this challenge!
Wood construction is carried out by the company Vöhringer GmbH,
Master Carpenter Achim Wiegmann acts as construction manager,
Andreas Lutz (AL)-Sanitär in Stuttgart is responsible for the sanitary planning; electrical planning and installation are carried out by a team of the FU Trier and Natalino Meixner-Malandrino (Schnell Ingenieure, Tuttlingen).
The collection of the building materials, the test set-up, and the technical fine-tuning are done in a large warehouse. Uner the direction of Achim Wiegmann (Schreinerei Wiegmann, Kernen), together with Felix Wiegmann and Simon Maier, the buildings aere constructed from three different types of panels, and stabilizing square timbers.
Responsible for the interior construction:
The electric team under the direction of Natalino Meixner-Malandrino, together with Christian Schäfer, Maximilian Schmalen and Markus Neukirch (University of Trier). They ensure an uninterruptble power supply, modern and sustainable LED lighting, and secure cable connections. In total, more than 4 km of cables are laid!
The sanitary team, under the direction of Andreas Lutz together with Sylvia Lutz and Thomas Höhn, is responsible for heating, compressed air, and water, as well as sanitary facilities. However, a 30-meter-deep well drilling and groundwater development must be carried out prior to, in order to have high quality drinking water available all year round.
Mrs. Ulrike Roos, Roland Tröndle and Jürgen Reinbold are the „helpers for all cases“ and don’t hesistate to tackle where reliable, diligent hands are needed.
Hans Kopecek provides the expertise in dental technology needed for establishing the dental infrastracture.
Dr. Kunsang Dechen and Dr. Rainer Roos take on the tasks related to organizing, replenishment and logistics. It is a challenge to organize things in this remote Himalayan region that can normally be found in every home improvement store here in Germany. There’s a lot to do – paint work, floor laying, roof sealing, baseboards, and so much more must be taken care of in addition to installing the supplied dental unit.
The Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbH would like to thank all helpers and supporters for their incredible work!
Transportation planning: Stuttgart-Mumbai-Delhi-Ladakh, we can do this!
Over the course of two years, all strength is put into working out a solution to the logistics problem by the help of „ Engagement Global“ (Federal Ministry for Development Cooperation). Stuttgart-Mumbai-Delhi-Ladakh, that is the route to be taken. Via land, sea, railroad, through Indian customs, and along the most dangerous roads in the world! Within many sleepless nights, a detailed route is planned.
Transportation and construction were planned for 2016, but complicated and expensive Indian customs and tax regulations prevented our work in that year.
In numerous talks and negotiations between the Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbH and the government offices, obstacles were slowly cleared away. Ministers and members of parliament can be won over to the project, and finally the path is clear!
The Dalai Lama promises his support for the project
In August 2016, the construction team receices an audience with the Dalai Lama, wherein he promises his support for the Klinik Ladakh.
The test builing is erected!
In June 2016, the test building is finally finished. We have reached an important milestone. Q.E.D. The plan works out, the technology functions perfectly. The project can now move on.
Transport of the dental clinic – a clinic travels to India
In the spring of 2017, all equipment is loaded into the container. Our dental clinic is going on a journey. What an unbelievable feeling! We are very happy to have reached yet another important milestone. However, everyone is feeling anxious – hopefully everything goes well.
Does our project fail, right before the finish line?
Our goods have already arrived in Delhi, but now we are deprived of the promised duty exemption. So close before the finish line?! However, „Incredible India“ can make it happen…
… on June 12, 2017, the content of six 40 foot long containers finally arrives at its destination in Choglamsar, spread out over 12 large trucks!
Now everything goes quickly: Construction, completion, and the top out ceremony.
The containers have arrived and have been a bit damaged in transit, but it is nothing we cannot fix.
However ,there quite some tasks to tackle: the panoramic x-ray machine must be set up and approved by an expert from Mumbai. A second dental unit and dental instruments, a contribution from the local nonprofit organization, must be purchased.
On July 29, 2017 our construction team arrives at the site with 15 highly dedicated craftsmen and experts. They start working immediately, but the challenging climatic conditions at the altitude of 3,500 meters and the physical strain continually cause health problems.
Nevertheless, the construction of the dental clinic is completed in just three weeks! This unimaginable performance is only possible because of the fantastic cooperation of the individual contruction teams.
By August 7, 2017 the buildings are already completed and everyone celebrates the topping-out lead by Simon Maier und Ulrike Roos.
Handing over of the keys – the first patient is treated.
On August 17, 2018 the keys to the Klinik Ladakh are handed over to the Bright Mountain Dental Clinic Trust. Tibetan dentist Kunsang Dechen, who has practiced in the Ladakhi region for many years, moves into the clinic to preside. He and his medical team of four take over the Klinik Ladakh and treat the first patient! The dental clinic offers a high quality standard, and its physicians are able to provide excellent medical care to the local population all year round, despite the freezing winter periods.
On August 18, 2018 we commence our journey home, happy and satisfied. Before we leave, we hand over the donation of dental handpieces and contra-angle handpieces contributed by the Rotary Stuttgart-Filder to Dr. Kunsang Dechen.
The Dalai Lama gives His blessing to our clinic.
In August 2018 the Dalai Lama inaugurates the Klinik Ladakh and gives it His blessing.
SME Award for Social Responibility
On July 3, 2018, the Dental Practice Dr. Rainer Roos, and all the helpers involved in the Klinik Ladakh project, are honored for their charitable engagement in India. This is already the second time since 2011 that the practice receives the SME Award for social responsibility from the State of Baden-Württemberg. We, as such a small firm, are extremely happy to accept this award form the hands of eminet representatives of the Church and the Government. Thank you to the many helpers and supporters without whom this project never would have been feasible!
Successful despite corona-related closure
In spite of all difficulties, Ladakh Medical Aid gGmbH succeeded in completing an important project for the region of Ladakh/India in the Corona year 2020/2021 with funding from a Rotary District Grant 1830.
In the entire year 2020, the clinic was closed by order of the authorities due to Corona, and only at the beginning of 2021 could the first patients be treated again. Unfortunately, the influx of patients remained very limited, as many Ladakhis no longer dared to leave their village community due to the perceived risks of infection.
Abb.: Sonam Sangmo
In order to care for the people in the nomadic areas, we came up with the plan to set up a simple mobile dental station that would also enable regular, free conservative dental treatment (filling therapy) far away from the clinic.
In 2020, in the middle of the Corona lockdown, we managed to find an interesting used SUV and to purchase it in May 2021 for about 11,500 euros. In parallel, mobile treatment facilities were ordered from Chinese manufacturers, which, however, could not yet be delivered due to the permanently tense relationship between India and China and the restrictive customs policies of both countries. Until May 2022, the Himalaya passes are not yet passable, but we expect the first equipment from Delhi after that.
Situation during mobile use
Our new, used dental mobile
The dental mobile is stationed on the premises of the “Bright Mountain Dental Clinic” in Choglamsar, which was built in 2017. The head dentist, Dr. Kunsang Dechen, has been working closely with Dr. Roos since 2010 and, together with his wife Tsering, takes exemplary care of the patients in Ladakh as well as the clinic’s movables and real estate entrusted to him. In the current year, his daughter Sonam Sangmo is entering her final year of studies. She, too, has been supported by members of the RC Stuttgart-Filder for many years and has always been the best student in her year. This also ensures a long-term and sustainable use of the invested capital.
The dental mobile is used for 3-4 weeks per year, the demand from dental volunteers from Germany and Europe for field work is very high.
Of course, we will continue to visit the dental clinic, ensure its function and take care of the further education and training of the staff.
Merry Christmas to you
Dr Rainer Roos
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