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SACCJF stands in solidarity with Sonam Wangchuk’s Climate Fast in Ladakh

Sonam Wangchuk
Photo: Sonam Wangchuk

The South Asian Climate Change Journalists Forum stands in solidarity with Climate Fast by Sonam Wangchuk, director of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL), demanding action against the melting of glaciers in Ladakh, India due to climate warming.

SACCJF President Ashish Gupta and Secretary General Asaduzzaman Samrat expressed solidarity in a statement on Wednesday. Sonam Wangchuk has been fighting for a long time about climate warming caused by unplanned industrialization in India’s Ladakh region.

He was awarded the Magsaysay Prize in 2018 for his work on climate and environment. He is widely known for setting up his innovative school, Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL). whose campus runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating. He founded SECMOL in 1988 to support the children and youth of Ladakh and train students. In 1994, Wangchuck launched Operation New Hope to reform the public school system. The movie Three Idiots was made in Bollywood based on his activities.

To attract the attention of the government and the world, Wangchuck will sit on a 5-day climate Fast from January 26 at an altitude of 18,000 feet at a temperature of minus 40 degrees Celsius at Khardungla Pass.

In a statement, they said the South Asian Climate Change Journalists’ Forum supports and stands in solidarity with Sonam Wangchuk’s initiative. Leaders hope that Wangchuck’s movement will be considered as a wakeup call not only for Ladakh, but also for South Asian countries that are under severe threat from climate change. The world will take more proactive steps to address South Asia’s climate change challenges.