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Monday, December 6, 2021

Saluting the genius of Sonam Wangchuk !

The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award which is conferred to people in recognition of their exceptional service in any field – the list of recipients has more than fair share of political leaders starting from Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari,  Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Lalbahadur Shastri,  Pant, Vallabhai Patel (not the full list); from tinseldom like Satyajit Ray, Lata Mangeshkar, Economist Amartya Sen; Scientists CV Raman, Visweswaraiah, Abdul Kalam, C Subramanian, CNR Rao, JRD Tata and couple of foreigners like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela – one would expect that the recipients have changed the way of Indian society .. .. that way how foreigners ! – and the list has Sachin Tendulkar too .. .. 

I am never a big fan of Cinema – do see comedy scenes .. .. always get bamboozled by the punch dialogues and heroic portrayal of short heroes beating scores of people.  That is not the issue here – am more than  a bit confused – somewhere the Society and its thinking went wrong – instead of immortalizing National heroes, the society started patronizing Cricketers and cine stars.  For example is this movie that ran well, but showed no credits of the man on whom it was based -  should one positively appreciate the Director and Hero for portraying such a great person or should they be condemned still for not bringing ‘the real hero’ – all credit.  How many (what %) of fans who adored 3 Idiots / Nanban would recognize the real hero behind that film !!!  

Ladakh is a trans-Himalayan mountain desert in the extreme north of India with villages located at 2,700m to 4,000m altitudes. It is a cold desert with winter temperatures touching -30° C, and an average annual rain/snow fall of only 100 mm. Human settlements are almost always located around glacial streams which feed into the Indus and other rivers as tributaries. The key to human settlement in this cold desert is the art of diverting water from the streams through meticulously built canals toward deserts to grow crops like barley, wheat, vegetables and trees like apricots, apples, willow and popular.  

The man, the real hero,  was born in 1966 in Uleytokpo, near Alchi in the Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was not enrolled in a school until the age of 9 year as there weren’t any schools in his village. His mother taught him all the basics in his own mother tongue till that age, contrary to what others would say, he considers himself lucky to have been spared the pains of schooling in alien languages which other children are forced to !!!  it is stated that  he looked different compared to the other students,  would get addressed in a language that he did not understand; his lack of responsiveness was mistaken for  being stupid.   Years later, he was to complete his  B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology (then REC), Srinagar in 1987.  

Solar water heating (SWH) is heating water by sunlight, using a solar thermal collector.  

Nanban directed by Shankar, starring Vijay, Jiva, Srikanth, Sathyan and Sathyaraj was a good entertainer;  it was a remake of ‘3 idiots’.  The knot of the movie was all about education – how the most studious behave and how not so good in class are ill-treated.  Years later after college days, Of the trio, Venkat becomes a successful wildlife photographer, Senthil, gets married and settles happily in a  middle class life; they set out to find their classmate Panchavan Pari around whom there is lot of mystery.  Sathyan that first bench boy turns wealthy and successful pro owning a company – comes down  looking to seal a deal with Kosaksi Pasapugazh, a famous scientist and prospective business associate.  They find out that Panchavan Parivendan is altogether different  - at  Dhanushkodi, they end up meeting Kosaksi Pasapugazh, who of course is none other than Pari ! ~ for our hero is much much greater ….  

The man we should be talking about, photographed at the start  and about whom the 2nd and 3rd para of this post is all about - Sonam Wangchuk  is an engineer, innovator and education reformist. Of his many inventions,   the Ice Stupa technique that creates artificial glaciers, used for storing winter water in form of conical shaped ice heap, got him the precious Rolex award.   

Recently, Sonam Wangchuk shared the pictures on her Twitter handle and shared the features of Solar Heated Insulated Ladakhi (Shila) Shelter. This innovation of Sonam was shared by the Fire and Fury Corps of the Army saying that it is the first of its kind in forward areas.  

No risk of fire, no possibility of power outage. No pollution. Zero emission of carbon. In Chushul and other forward areas adjoining LAC in eastern Ladakh, the army has got wonderful accommodation dependent on solar energy. In these areas of high mountainous Ladakh these days the temperature outside is minus 20 degrees, while the mercury remains only 15 degrees inside due to the use of solar energy.This shelter has been prepared and handed over to the army by the institute of its real hero Sonam Wangchuk. In these shelters, the heat from the sun’s rays is stopped from going back out. The heat of the day works to keep the interior warm throughout the night.  

Salutes to you Sir – Sonam Wangchuk is the Bharat’s Biggest Ratna. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Dec 2021. 

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