A TEENAGE charity worker from Scotland has died after falling ill during a trek in India.
Niamh Campbell, 19, from Clackmannanshire, had travelled to Asia in September last year to teach English, maths and science at a primary school in Bangalore.
Niamh was a lovely girl and an impressive and committed teacher, always hard-working and considerate of others. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family and her fellow volunteers, and our priority now is to provide them with whatever support we canIngrid Emerson
She was a volunteer with Isle of Coll-based charity Project Trust, who confirmed she had died while trekking in the north of India.
Chief executive officer Ingrid Emerson said: “Niamh was a lovely girl and an impressive and committed teacher, always hard-working and considerate of others.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family and her fellow volunteers, and our priority now is to provide them with whatever support we can.”
She added that Niamh was travelling in the north of a hill station called Manali, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, on Monday as part of a group led by an experienced guide from a reputable company which specialises in trekking in the region.
She fell seriously ill and was taken by ambulance to hospital in Manali, but tragically died. Tests into the cause of death are being carried out.
The teenager had been posting regular blogs on social media, in which she admitted to feeling ill, with the last being sent on Sunday.
She said: “We arrived in Udaipur very early in morning after the stressful day we had before. Even just going through Udaipur in a rickshaw at six in the morning, we already liked it.
“Our hotel was amazing. It was called the Nukkad guesthouse and it was lovely. It had some beautiful decorations and the owner was really nice. It was a shame I was still only eating dry toast because the food looked amazing.
“When we finally got settled, all I wanted to do was sleep because I still wasn’t well.”
She added: “The next day we were all feeling up to heading out, so we went for a wander around the city. It’s actually such a beautiful place. And it had some amazing shops.
“We went to see the sunset from on top of a hill. It was a long walk up and after not eating for about four days, it was rather tricky. At the top there was a tiny wee temple and we watched the sunset go down behind the hills.
“The next day was our last day in Udaipur. The highlight of the day was when we went to a roof top pool. It was amazing. Proper luxury. It also turned out that a scene from Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was filmed there. I got to stand where Judi Dench stood.
“I probably got a wee bit more excited than I should have. We stayed in the pool as long as humanly possible, and headed back to the hotel. By this point I was finally eating again so I could have some plain pasta.
“It’s amazing how big a role food plays in your life. But I was also more amazed at how long you can go without food and still be fine.”
During the first few months of her journey, she lost her grandparents and pet dogs back home, and admitted to feeling “cursed” about the trip.
Project Trust’s overseas director has departed the UK for India and will join the charity’s in-country representatives in Delhi to provide support on the ground.
A spokesman added: “The Campbell family has expressly stated that they have no further comment to make.”