LEH, Mar 6: In a spectacular ceremony, the Ice Stupa artificial glacier was inaugurated today in Phyang village.
On the occasion, Drikung Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey in the presence of CEC Rigzin Spalbar, Padamshree Chhewang Norpbhel, officers from the Armed Forces and villagers from Phyang and surrounding areas performed a special prayer.
Giving an introduction about the Ice Stupa concept, Sonam Wangchuk said that the current Stupa is a pilot project. He added that the future potential in Phyang village is for 80 to 90 stupas, each holding roughly 10 million litres of water, which would be sufficient to green the entire desert of Phyang (1,500 Acres) using modern techniques like drip irrigation.
Talking of finances, he said that the project was financed by crowd-funding with donations coming from individuals from around the world and finally raising USD 125,000. This amount he said was not for just this year but for the overall project that could last decades, he added.
CEO of Essel World Mumbai Shirish Deshpande was also present. Essel Group from Mumbai has made the highest contribution during the crowd-funding campaign of USD 47,000.
Rigzin Spalbar in his speech said that there is no reason that such a project could not succeed. He hoped that this could be replicated in other areas also.
C Norphel popularly known as the Ice Man spoke on the occasion and expressed hope that younger engineers would apply their knowledge and skills to solve the daily life problems of the people.
Drikung Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey said that projects like Ice Stupa will bring a good name not just for a person or a village but for the whole of Ladakh in combating serious issues like climate change.
Finally, Drikung Skyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey distributed certificates to the young volunteers who made the Ice Stupa pilot project possible namely Stanzin Norbu Shara, Lobzang Dadul Phobrang, Yasin Ahmed Chiktan, Sajjad Hussain Chiktan Sonam Dorje Wakha, Thupstan Dawa, Tsering Phuntsog Shara. Apart from them Mira Desai and Dilip Jain from Mumbai were also felicitated for their role in the crowd funding campaign.