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  • HAIL alternative university celebrates world international water day

STUPAKARGIL:  After trials in Phyang valley for three years this winter eleven valleys in Ladakh built their own ice stupas, apart from similar efforts in Sikkim, Baltistan and Switzerland outside Ladakh. This winter Ice Stupa team of HIAL also kept a competition amongst interested villages with a goal of spreading the artificial glacier technology and sensitizing the masses around water issues in mountain regions.

On the International World Water Day the results of the competition was decleared at the largest Ice Stupa which got the first prize. Equivalent to 7 million liters of water Ice Stupa of Village Shara Phuktsey won the 1st position and a. Prize of 5 lac rupees and Ice Stupas of village Gya and Government Middle School Karith collecting 4.5 million liters of water shared the 2 position and a Prize of Rupees 1.5 lac each  and for the third position collecting 3 million litres of water the Ice Stupas of Zingral, Takmachi and Satsedo shared the prize and got a prize of Rupees one Lakh each. 

Consolation prizes of 10,000 each were given to Ronglungma Chiktan, Warshudo and Lamsho Chiktan and Participatory commemoration was given to village Taru, Muth Changthang and Sandow Chiktan. 

Meanwhile according an official press release of Sonam Wangchuk, they are happy and proud to see so many villages taking it upon themselves to build their own Ice Stupas and therefore spreading the urgent message of the need to tackle water challenges in the mountains due to global warming.

HIAL Alternative University and SECMOL Alternative School have been making efforts to rise upto the challenge and innovate new solutions in the form of Ice Stupa seasonal artificial glaciers. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. In recent decades many Ladakhi villages have been facing water issues as Himalayan glaciers recede fast under the impact of global warming and local black carbon pollution. Already few villages in Ladakh are starting to become climate refugees as they are forced to abandon their valleys due to water issues.

Sonam Wangchuk told that However they do not consider Ice Stupas as a solution to the challenge. Ice Stupas rather symbolize a last ditch effort of the Himalayan valleys out of helplessness and not an achievement to boast of.  As they say it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. 

STUPA1He further added that The real solution is with the governments of nations and the people living in big cities.  If they take measures and adopt environment friendly lifestyles that cut down emissions, then and only then will there be a respite for us in the mountains. If people in big cities live simply, we in the mountains may simply live. The Ice Stupa project appeals to people in big cities to LIVE SIMPLY, so that we in the mountains can SIMPLY LIVE.

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