Sonam Wangchuk was born in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, India. A Mechanical Engineer by education, Sonam has mostly worked in the field of education reform for more than 30 years. In 1988, just after he finished his engineering studies, he founded SECMOL (Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh), which aims to bring reforms in the government school system in Ladakh. In 1994, Sonam Wangchuk was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope, a triangular collaboration of the government, village communities and the civil society to bring reforms in the government school system.
In order to solve the water crisis facing mountain regions due to climate change and fast melting glaciers he invented the Ice Stupa artificial glacier which stores the wasting stream waters in winter in the form of giant ice cones or stupas and releases the water in late spring as they melt… just when farmers needs water for irrigation.
Wangchuk was born in 1966 in Uleytokpo, near Alchi in the Leh district of Ladakh. He was not enrolled in a school until the age of 9, as there were not any schools in his village. His mother taught him all the basics in his own mother tongue until that age.
Wangchuk considers himself lucky to have been spared the pains of schooling in alien languages which other Ladakhi children were forced to learn. His father Sonam Wangyal, a politician who later became the minister in state government, was stationed in Srinagar. At age 9, he was taken to Srinagar and enrolled in a school there. Since he looked different compared to the other students, he would get addressed in a language that he did not understand. Due to which his lack of responsiveness was mistaken for him being stupid. He recalls this period as the darkest part of his life. Unable to bear the treatment, in 1977 he escaped alone to Delhi where he pleaded his case to the school principal at Vishesh Kendriya Vidyala.
Wangchuk completed his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Srinagar (then REC Srinagar) in 1987. Due to differences with his father over the choice of engineering stream, he had to finance his own education. He also went for two years of higher studies in Earthen Architecture at Craterre School of Architecture in Grenoble, France in 2011.
Sonam Wangchuk has transformed the schooling, learning and teaching in Ladhakh. Sonam Wangchuk is among few indians who have won the Ramon Masaysay Award. Wangchuk had inspire Raj Kumar Hirani to create Phunsukh Wangdu aka Rancho in Amir Khan starrer 3 Idiots.
Lets know more about Sonam Wangchuk
|Full Name||Sonam Wangchuk|
|Nick Name||Snow Warrior|
|Landed on Earth||01 Sep 1966|
|Birthplace||Uley Tokpo, Leh, Ladakh|
|Age||53 Years as on 2020|
B Tech in Mechanical Engineering
Masters in Earthen Architecture
Vishesh Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Delhi
Model Academy Jammu
Regional Engineering College(Now NIT), Sri Nagar
CRAterre School of Architecture, Grenoble, France
|Father||Sonam Wangyal(Former Politician)|
|Siblings||Wanchuk has three brothers, who run small business in Leh, and five half -brothers and sisters. One sister is a doctor in Delhi, another a sub-judge in Leh and third is Indian Airlines Pilot in Kolkata|
Marital Status, Affairs & More
|Marital Status||Not Known|
|Height||In Centimeters-168 cm
In Feet Inches-5’5″
|Eyes Color||Dark Brown|
|Hair Color||Salt & Paper|
Traits & Trivia
Awards and Achievements
- The prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award 2018
- The GQ Men of The Year Award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 in India
- The Rolex Award for Enterprise 2016 in Hollywood USA
- The Terra Award 2016 for World’s best Earth Buildings in Lyon France
- The UNESCO Chair for Earth Architecture for India in 2014
- ‘Real Heroes’ Award by CNN IBN Channel in 2008
- ‘Green Teacher’ Award by Sanctuary Asia Magazine in 2005
- Ashoka Fellowship by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 2002
- ‘Man of the Year’ by The Week magazine in India in 2001
- Governors Medal by the J&K State Government in 1996.
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