Himalayan people appeal for Sonam Wangchuk

Ten individuals from across the Himalayan region have issued an appeal for the life of Sonam Wangchuk, a Ladakh environmental activist, who is on the 22nd day of his hunger strike in Leh.

Wangchuk is the winner of the right Livelihood Award, also called the Alternative Nobel Prize, and has been a strong advocate for climate friendly and energy saving school and building design. He has also been campaigning against climate breakdown as well as the exploitation of natural resources. 

Last year, he brought a piece of a melting glacier from Ladakh to the Dalai Lama in Dharmshala to draw attention to the impact of climate crisis in the trans-Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and the Tibetan Plateau. The petition reads:

'We, ten concerned individuals from the Himalayan region across national boundaries, are fearful for the life of Sonam Wangchuk, the educator and environmentalist who has been a steadfast voice for social justice and ecological sanity. Mr. Wangchuk has completed 21 days of protest fast, demanding political rights for his home region of Ladakh and nature friendly approaches to development in the Himalaya and elsewhere. Taking only salt and water, Mr. Wangchuk has become increasingly frail over the course of his hunger strike. We need his continued presence and leadership in the fight for the people and the planet. We call on the Government of India to heed his calls.

Sonam Wangchuk on Day 21 of his hunger strike about the impact of climate change in the Himalaya
Sonam Wangchuk on day 21 of his hunger strike about the impact of climate change in the Himalaya.

Signatories: Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Bharat Bhushan, Kanak Mani Dixit, Ramachandra Guha, Sanjoy Hazarika, Pervez Hoodbhoy, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, Mrinal Pandey, Shekhar Pathak, Siddiq Wahid.

26 March 2024

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