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Why Ladakh's Sonam Wangchuk, who inspired 3 Idiots, will go on a fast from Jan 26

Why Ladakh's Sonam Wangchuk, who inspired 3 Idiots, will go on a fast from Jan 26

Why Ladakh's Sonam Wangchuk, who inspired 3 Idiots, will go on a fast from Jan 26
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By Pradeep John  Jan 23, 2023 7:40:48 PM IST (Published)

Climate protest: In a YouTube video, titled 'Ladakh ki Mann ki Baat,' Wangchuk said 'all is not well' in Ladakh, referring to the glacier melt in the area being hastened by the bustle of tourism, commerce and activity. He urged PM Modi to do something about it.

Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer-innovator whose life inspired the Bollywood film 3 Idiots, is planning to go on a fast from January 26 against the human-triggered depletion of glaciers in Ladakh, his hometown.

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In a video posted on YouTube and titled 'Ladakh ki Mann ki Baat,' Wangchuk said that “all is not well” in Ladakh, alluding to an anecdote in the film 3 Idiots.
Wangchk said the development of tourism, commerce and activity in the pristine mountainous region is causing glaciers to melt at a faster rate, and so far about two-thirds of the glaciers in the region have melted, and this would lead to depletion of water resources.
He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to safeguard the ecologically-fragile region from aggressive development and to ensure the safety of lives and jobs of the local people.
"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 University has found that the glaciers surrounded by highways and human activities are melting at a comparatively faster rate," Wangchuk said.
"Global warming due to America and Europe alone is not responsible for this climate change, but the local pollution and emissions are equally responsible for this. In areas like Ladakh, there should be minimal human activities so that the glaciers can remain intact for the locals here and the country across," he said.
Wangchuk’s comments come in the wake of the land subsidence in Uttarakhand’s hill town Joshimath which have caused damages and cracks in houses and structures and rendered human life nearly impossible. And this incident has been attributed to development activities in the region.
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The scientist-innovator has also urged children not to waste food and clothes as it harms the environment.
Wangchuk has done a test run of his climate fast and posted a video of the same on Twitter. He is seen sitting atop his house at 11,500 feet at Phyang where the temperature was minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Wangchuk has been at the forefront of an innovative battle against the melting of glaciers, and has built ice stupas in the Himalayan town to help farmers conserve 150,000 litres of winter stream water.
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