The Ladakh-based social reformer Sonam Wangchuk, whose life served as the inspiration for the Bollywood film "3 Idiots," recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the safety and protection of Ladakh as studies indicate that two-thirds of the glaciers in the Union Territory may be going extinct.
“All is not well in Ladakh,” Wangchuk said in a video.
"This is an urgent appeal from Sonam Wangchuk in Ladakh (in the Indian Himalayas) to the people of India and the world to help protect the environmentally sensitive region of Ladakh," Wanchuk said in his video, while pleading with the Prime Minister to intervene and protect the fragile ecosystem under the Constitution's Sixth Schedule.
Sonam Wangchuk intends to begin a five-day "climate fast" on January 26 at the 18, 000-foot-high Khardungla pass, where it can get as cold as -40 degrees.
Wangchuk performed a "test-run" and spent Sunday night on the roof of Ladakh's 11,500-foot-high Himalayan Institute of Alternative Ladakh (HIAL).
He welcomed his followers in a video that was posted on Twitter the following morning and said, “It’s been minus 16.7 degrees, close to minus 17. And with wind chill factor, minus 20. I am alive and happily up,”
“Thank you for all your support. This test went very well. I was not too uncomfortable. Just a little cold at the feet and knees. But I am fine and alive, thank you.”
Anand Mahindra, an industrialist, who watched the video and praised his efforts, referred to him as a "climate hero."
“This man is a climate hero,” Mahindra tweeted, sharing Wangchuk’s video.
The business tycoon had previously praised Wangchuk for his work on a solar-powered portable military tent that was designed to keep Indian soldiers warm in high-altitude environments like Galwan Valley.
‘Sonam, you’re the man! I salute you. Your work is energising,” Mahindra had tweeted in February 2021.
Wangchuk is an Innovator Academician, Education Reformist, and the Founder and Advisor of SECMOL (Students" Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh), a non-traditional school that implemented educational reform in the Ladakh region and increased the number of students passing exams up to the intermediate level.
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