At -20 degrees, Sonam Wangchuk begins fast to 'save Ladakh', posts video
Posting a video on Friday, Wangchuk said he could not go Khardung La as roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall.
Sonam Wangchuk, a social reformist from Ladakh whose life story inspired the Bollywood film ‘3 Idiots’, began his five-day climate fast to “save Ladakh” on the rooftop of the Himalayan Institute of Alternative Ladakh (HIAL) in Phyang on Thursday.
Posting a video on Friday, Wangchuk said he could not go Khardung La, which has the world’s highest motorable road at 18,000 feet with the current mercury levels at -40 degree Celsius, as roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall.
“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...” he tweeted.
Concerned over the rapid melting of glaciers and other climate catastrophes, the innovator has decided to go on a fast urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the safety and protection of Ladakh as studies suggested the extinction of nearly 2/3rd of the glaciers in the Union Territory.
“The administration has restricted my fast to HAIL campus and not allowed for Khardung La top citing threats to my life and so on. I think there is more to that. If this was the case, the base of Khardung La has all the medical facilities. So I am them again to permit me to go there,” Wangchuk said in the video.
The video also shows the rooftop and the surrounding area are covered with snow. Wangchuk said the current temperature of Phyang was -20 degree Celsius.
Wangchuk had earlier said that if the carelessness continued and Ladakh is refrained from being provided protection from the industries, the glaciers here will extinct, thus creating enormous problems due to water scarcity in India and its neighbourhood.
"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.
He further appealed to the children to avoid the wastage of food and clothes as it technically harms the environment in return.
In a 13-minute long video shared by Wangchuk on his YouTube channel, he “urgently” appealed to the people of the country and the world to help protect the "environmentally sensitive" region of Ladakh. He has also highlighted to PM Modi to intervene and safeguard the ecosystem under the sixth schedule of the Indian constitution.
"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. He appeals to the Prime Minister of India to intervene and safeguard this fragile ecosystem under the sixth schedule of the Indian constitution," the description of the Youtube video read.
"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," he said in a Tweet.