Many across country to ‘join’ Sonam Wangchuk as he fasts to save Ladakh | Nagpur News – Times of India



NAGPUR: Hundreds of people from across the country will be observing a ‘climate fast’ for 24 hours on Thursday, in solidarity with education reformist and environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk, who begins his five-day fast to “save Ladakh” on the Republic Day. Wangchuk will be observing the fast at Khardung La, which has the world’s highest motorable road at 18,000 ft, with the current mercury levels at -40 degree Celsius.
Concerned over the rapid melting of glaciers and other climate catastrophe, the innovator has decided to go on a fast to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention towards safeguarding the fragile ecosystem of Ladakh from uncontrolled development.
A few days ago, Wangchuk had made an SOS call, through a YouTube video, saying, “All is not well in Ladakh”, and had made an urgent appeal to the PM to listen to Ladakh’s “mann ki baat”.
On Wednesday, he addressed millions of followers in another video, and encouraged citizens to adopt minimalism for the sake of maintaining ecological balance along with economic well-being.
“After Ladakh became a Union territory, it has seen a massive collapse. Tourism alone has proven to be highly toxic for the ecosensitive region. Ladkah saw a footfall of 6 lakh tourists, which is twice its local population. And this tourism comes in a span of five months in a 5-sq kilometre area, causing many cracks in its ecology. Imagine what industries and mining would do to it!” said Wangchuk.
The mass fasting has been spearheaded by Mumbai’s Dilip Jain, a close associate of Wangchuk and the founder of a nonprofit organization, dJED Foundation. Jain, who wasearlier involved in the Ice Stupa project along with Wangchuk, is also a founding member of Ladakhbased Himalayan Institute of Alternatives.
The fast will begin at 7 am on Thursday and hundreds of people will stay without food for 24 hours in their own cities.
Talking exclusively to TOI, Jain said the mass fasting would focus on extending solidarity to Wangchuk’s crusade as well as creating widespread awareness about the growing climate threat.
“Climate change is not just an issue of Ladakh; the entire world is reeling under it. We will be raising a voice against the current narrative of corporate development, which is putting the environment at stake. While the rich and wealthy are under major influence of corporate greenwashing, the need of the hour is to understand that no amount of science, technology or intelligence can reverse the effects of climate change. ”
During a video call to those supporting Wanghchuk’s cause, Jain made a presentation in which he stressed the need to save the mountains, rivers and forest of the country – from Aravalis to Sahyadris. “Most people living in urban areas are brainwashed by celebrities to keep consuming beyond needs and by the corporate world, which wants to keep growing beyond boundaries,” he stated.





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