Climate fast for Ladakh: Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer turned education reformer and social activist whose life story inspired the Bollywood film 3 Idiots, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the protection of Ladakh. He is on five-day climate fast from January 26 at the Himalayan Institute of Alternative Ladakh (HIAL). He planned to start his 5-day fast at Khardungla post but due to heavy snowfall and road blockage he has begun his fast at HIAL on Rupublic day to attract the attention of administration towards the eco-fragile regions of Ladhak.
He updated information of his first day of his 5-day fast and tweeted “ AFTER THE 1st DAY OF MY #ClimateFast FOR LADAKH… Still on rooftop as roads were blocked & I’ve been denied permission to get to #KHARDUNGLA. More later…”
AFTER THE 1st DAY
OF MY #ClimateFast FOR LADAKH…
Still on rooftop as roads were blocked & I've been denied permission to get to #KHARDUNGLA
More later…#SaveLadakh@350@UNFCCC @UNEP #ilivesimply @narendramodi @LeoDiCaprio pic.twitter.com/koJvLtzvsZ
— Sonam Wangchuk (@Wangchuk66) January 27, 2023
Recently, the studies indicate that nearly two-thirds of the Union Territory’s glaciers are on the verge of extinction. Sonam Wangchuk emphasised that if the carelessness continues and Ladakh is not protected from industries, the glaciers here will become extinct, causing enormous problems due to water scarcity in India and its neighbours.
“If measures are not taken, the industries, tourism, and commerce will continue to flourish in Ladakh and will eventually finish it. Recent studies from Kashmir University and other research organizations have concluded that glaciers in Leh-Ladakh will finish nearly to its 2/3rd if they are not properly taken care of. A study by Kashmir Univesity has found that the glaciers surrounded by highways and human activities are melting at a comparatively faster rate,” Wangchuk said in an interview to ANI.
He tweeted, “ALL IS NOT WELL in Ladakh! In my latest video I appeal to @narendramodi ji to intervene & give safeguards to eco-fragile Ladakh. To draw attention of Govt & the world I plan to sit on a 5-day #ClimateFast from 26 Jan at Khardungla pass at 18000ft -40 °C.”
Wangchuk expressed concern about the possibility of corporate expansion in the union territory, which is expected to exacerbate the severe resource scarcity, such as water. Glaciers may melt as a result of mining and other similar activities, he said.
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