An engineer Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh, who was inspiration behind Aamir Khan’s character in 3 Idiots, won prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise for his ‘Ice Stupas’ project.
The award was presented in Los Angeles to those who have reshaped the world with their innovative thinking and dynamism.
The 50-year-old tried to solve the problem of scarcity of water for agriculture in the region by building Ice Stupas.
Ice Stupas are basically conical ice mounds which are formed from frozen glacial water, which has huge outflow seasonally in the region.
The Ladakh region, at roughly 3,500-metre altitude, faces acute water shortage during the April-May early crop-growing period and the Stupas solve that problem.
From the reward money, Wangchuk wants to build up to 20 such ice stupas which would be capable of supplying millions of litres of water.
“The Rolex Award funds will support the project and promote ice stupas as a climate-change adaptation and desert-greening technique,” Wangchuk said in a statement.
His long term aim to build an alternative university and engage youth in the environment.