When deserts bloom: Tackling Climate Change #WATWB
Making a desert bloom
Most of my country is green these days with the monsoons in full swing . But there are parts that will forever remain dry and arid like the natural desert sands of Rajasthan and Kutch. We also have a high altitude desert in Ladakh. Like many Indians, I first saw this in a Bollywood movie called “Lakshya”.
Since then, it has been on the tourist trail for many tourists who are attracted by the pristine, splendour of this high altitude desert.
However, beautiful as this desert is, the land is getting drier and more arid by the day . Food and water is getting scarce and day to day living is getting harder. But Sonam Wangchuk, (who has been immortalised as Phungsug Wangdu in the iconic movie 3 Idiots) is an engineer, activist and innovator who has decided to green this valley and stop, if not reverse ,this alarming trend.
Tackling climate change
Ladakh which is nestled in the Himalayan ranges has a topography quite unlike any seen in India.
This is a land of extremes, where rainfall is scarce and temperatures range wildly from torrid to far below freezing.The locals say it’s the only place in the world where a man, sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade, can suffer sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.It’s the Ladakh region — meaning “land of high passes” — sandwiched between two of the world’s tallest mountain ranges, the Himalayas and the Kunlun.Rainfall is rare here. Water, essential for irrigating the farmlands that are the lifeblood of the local population, mostly comes from melting snow and ice.
But climate change is making this land even drier, leaving farmers without water in the crucial planting months of April and May, right before the glaciers start to melt in the summer sun.One man’s solution to the problem? Make more glaciers.
“We wanted to integrate traditional practices and beliefs with innovative technology, because climate change cannot be handled by engineering alone,” says Sonam Wangchuk.
Why I admire this person
I admire this Sonam Wangchuk because he is one of the few people who actually put his money where his mouth is. Climate Change is much talked about but very few people do anything about it. Sonam actually p;ut his engineering skills and knowledge to good use among the people who could use it most – his own . And yet, not content with greening his valley, he continues to improve the lives of his people through his venture The Students Educational and Cultural Movement Of Ladakh.
Now isn’t this a remarkable and inspirational story?
I’m participating in We are the World Blogfest where bloggers share positive acts of humanity in life, in the news, or social media on the last FRIDAY of each month.