The man with the intellect and the guts, Sonam Wangchuk, has built solar heated military tents to keep the army personnel at +15 C in the freezing Galwan Valley which has a temperature of -14 C.
“SOLAR HEATED MILITARY TENT for Indian Army at Galwan Valley +15 C at 10 pm now. Min outside last night was -14 C, Replaces tons of kerosene, pollution climate change. For 10 jawans, fully portable all parts weigh less than 30 Kgs”. #MadeInIndia #MadeInLadakh #CarbonNeutral, he tweeted.
Appreciating his efforts, Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group, said,” Sonam, you’re the MAN! I salute you. Your work is energizing, even this late in the evening…”
More about Sonam Wangchuk :
Born on September 1, 1966, Sonam Wangchuk is an Indian engineer, innovator, and education reformist. He is the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL), which was founded in 1988 by a group of students who had been in his own words, the ‘victims’ of an alien education system foisted on Ladakh.
He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating.
He has also invented and built a prototype of the Ice Stupa which is an artificial glacier that stores the wasting stream waters during the winters in the form of giant ice cones or stupas and releases the water during late spring as they start melting, which is the perfect time when the farmers need water.
Wangchuk was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope in 1994, a collaboration of government, village communities and civil society to bring reforms in the government school system. In 2014, he was appointed to the Expert Panel for framing the J&K State Education Policy and Vision Document. Since 2015, Sonam has started working on establishing the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives. He is concerned about how most of the Universities, especially those in the mountains have become irrelevant to the realities of life.
In 2016, Wangchuk initiated a project called FarmStays Ladakh, which provides tourists to stay with local families of Ladakh, run by mothers and middle-aged women.
Following tensions between India and China, the Ladakh-based educational reformer had appealed and asked Indians to boycott all Chinese companies.
In a tweet, he asked people to boycott all Chinese products to stop Beijing’s “bullying” in Ladakh and liberate 1.4 billion bonded labourers in the country.
In May 2020, in response to the India-China border skirmishes, he appealed to Indians to use “wallet power” and boycott Chinese products. This appeal was supported by various celebrities and following the Galwan Valley clash on 15 June 2020, there were calls across India to boycott Chinese goods.
Sonam has many awards and honours to his credit. He is the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the award is given to Asian individuals achieving excellence in their respective fields, Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, International Terra Award for best earth building, Governor’s Medal for educational reform in Jammu and Kashmir and Ashoka Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, etc.
Checkout Sonam Wangchuk’s Twitter account to know more about his initiatives