Shara Ice Stupa fetches first prize of Rs 5 lakh

Ice Stupa team along with innovator Sonam Wangchuk posing for group photograph in front of Shara Ice Stupa. —Excelsior/Morup Stanzin
Ice Stupa team along with innovator Sonam Wangchuk posing for group photograph in front of Shara Ice Stupa. —Excelsior/Morup Stanzin

Excelsior Sports Correspondent
LEH, Mar 22: On the eve of International World Water Day Shara Artificial Ice Stupa measuring 110 feet high with 70 lakh litres water storage capacity was awarded first prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
Gya Meru Ice Stupa with Cafe inside and Kharith Ice Stupa in Kargil were jointly adjudged as runners-up fetching cash award of Rs 1.5 lakh each.
Ice Stupa at Sachedho, Zingral and Takmachik village stood on third position and were awarded a cash prize of Rs one lakh each.
The award was conferred by HIAL founder Director innovator Sonam Wangchuk in an impressive function held at Shara village.
International World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day.
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.
HIAL Alternative University and SECMOL Alternative School have been making efforts to stand up to the challenge and innovate new solutions in the form of Ice Stupa seasonal artificial glaciers.
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. We 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.