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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Solar bath for monks, award for student

Snehil Sinha , Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, July 28, 2013
First Published: 02:24 IST(28/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:27 IST(28/7/2013)

The monks of Kee Gompa monastery in Spiti, Himachal Predesh now have an eco-friendly solar bath to wash away their daily hardships — thanks to Apoorv Tiwary and his friends from across the globe.

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Tiwary, a student of Ansal University, Gurgaon has been conferred with the Gold Award of the International Award for Young People, 2013 for his endeavour. He, along with the other award participants, constructed the state-of-the-art bath using traditional Tibetan techniques and local construction materials. The facility was inaugurated by the King of Spiti Valley in a ceremony held at the monastery.

As a part of his residential project, Tiwary stayed at Spiti for 17 days in June last year, accompanied by 25 other award participants from seven different countries of the world. The 26 volunteers and their mentors went up to an altitude of 3,800 metres and camped at the monasteries there.

During the project, the group was divided into teams of six, each assigned with different tasks such as stone-laying, bath-making, procuring mud, transporting mud, farming and cooking. All were assigned to different groups on different days so that everyone was acquainted with each stage of the process.

"During our stay in Spiti, all the participants lived in the monasteries with the monks and had a closer look at the Tibetan life, culture and tradition. We enjoyed the cuisines and were amazed to witness one of the most ancient monasteries and its architecture," said Tiwary. He added that the solar bath would save the monastery 100 quintals of firewood every year thereby reducing carbon emissions, and also save Rs. 50,000 per annum.

The award programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The aim was to motivate young people aged between 14 and 25 years to become involved in a balanced programme of self-development activities to take them through the difficult period between adolescence and adulthood.


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