Speaker Talk - Sonam Wangchuk

April 4,2017

Phunsuk Wangdu was a dreamer and a pioneer, rebelling against the societal standards of the system. This idolised character was inspired by Sonam Wangchuk, founding director of Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh. The final speaker for the Meet voices his opinion of the present education system as somewhat of a "carbon copy" left by the British. This imposed education system making little sense to the children of Ladakh, induces failures among them. Citing the system as the entity behind these failures, he was inspired to complete his engineering and yet not be another engineer in the crowd. He dreamt of an alternative world where we can start the next learning revolution.

“When you fail, you are ready for change.”

“I am a victim of the system and very well have the right to change the system”, he states. Starting with little reforms by working with likeminded people, he encourages others to raise their voice as well.

SECMOL’s exclusive admission of students with poor performances, the experimentation in living in harmony with nature, minimum teacher interference, practical learning instead of cramming textbooks are his ways of reforming the education system of Ladakh. If the system flows with nature, then the students are encouraged to be in the driving seat.

He is an advocate of following the rhythm of nature, to make everything so simple so that there is no use of gadgets. He believes that “the energy we have been gifted by evolution is gone to waste with a touch of a button, thus channelling it through teenage rebellion and rage instead being responsible and conscientious.”

His passion for innovation is evident when he articulates on his successful buildings of “Ice Stupas”, which are artificial glaciers to facilitate irrigation in the desert areas of the Himalayas. These brilliant pieces of engineering are conical ice mounds, used through the months of June July as it slowly melts. His Other such ideas include simple siphon techniques (a prototype) to reduce level of lake by 5 m and reglaciation.

“Start-ups don’t always have to be associated with apps.”


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