The character of Phunsukh Wangdu played by Aamir Khan in 2009 blockbuster ‘3 idiots’ is still imprinted in the minds of people. The inspiration behind Aamir Khan’s Phunsukh Wangducharacter, is the real life Sonam Wangchuk, who has gained further global recognition by bagging the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2016 in Los Angeles this Tuesday.
50-year-old Sonam Wangchuk is an engineer from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, who has been working to solve water scarcity issues for agriculture in the arid and dry regions of western Himalayas. There is an acute water shortage during the early crop-growing period in the Ladakh, which is at 3500 metres altitude from the sea level and is located between Kunlun and Great Himalayan mountain ranges. Mr.Wangchuk contemplated that the issues can be sorted by freezing huge seasonal outflow of glacial water.
Mr.Wangchuk then developed a simple and effective system by creating ‘ice stupas’, inspired by the experimental work of fellow Ladakhi Engineer Chewang Norphel. Now he plans to build 20 such ice stupas, which will be 30 metres high and capable of supplying millions of litres of water. The Rolex Award Fund will also help support the project and promote ice stupas further, according to Mr Wangchuk.
Mr Wangchuk is also working on establishing an alternative university on the 65-hectare land which will engage youth from Ladakh.
Rolex awards is a series of biennial awards aimed at fostering a spirit of enterprise around the world. The awards recognise outstanding achievement, particularly in the areas of science and medicine, technology and innovation, exploration and discovery, the environment, and cultural heritage.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise are presented to those “who have reshaped the world with their innovative thinking and dynamism”.
The Don’t Give Up World congratulates Sonam Wangchuk and wishes him good luck for future endeavours.