Mumbai Stands With Sonam Wangchuk: Climate Activists Fast In Solidarity For Ladakh's Ecosystem

Mumbai Stands With Sonam Wangchuk: Climate Activists Fast In Solidarity For Ladakh's Ecosystem

Sonam Wangchuk, who was the inspiration behind the popular character of Phunsuk Wangdu in the movie ‘3 Idiots’, is sitting on a 21-day hunger strike with demands of constitutional safeguards for Ladakh’s fragile ecosystem.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 08:00 PM IST
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Environment activists and individuals from Mumbai gathered to display their support to Sonam Wangchuk, who is on a climate fast to ensure safety of Ladakh’s ecosystem. Under a nation-wide movement called Friends of Ladakh and Nature, people in Mumbai also gathered to observe fast for a day and show their support to the noted climate activist.

Sonam Wangchuk's fast

Engineer and education reformist Sonam Wangchuk, who was the inspiration behind the popular character of Phunsuk Wangdu in the movie ‘3 Idiots’, is sitting on a 21-day hunger strike with demands of constitutional safeguards for Ladakh’s fragile ecosystem. He has appealed to the government to fulfil its promise of adding Ladakh to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and give statehood for the region.

It’s been almost two weeks since the noted climate activist has been sitting on a climate fast which includes fast unto death and hundreds of people are joining him in the protest. As a movement launched across the nation, Friends of Ladakh and Nature have been joining in the fast in different cities across the country. On Sunday, which marked the 12th day of Wangchuk’s fast, around 50 people from Mumbai joined at the Azad Maidan to participate in the climate fast.

Mumbaikars observe fast in support of Sonam Wangchuk

People from across the city gathered with placards and displayed their solidarity with Wangchuk with slogans like ‘Mountains Rise Ladakh United’ and ‘Save Ladakh Save Nature’. These protesters also included natives of Ladakh living in the city, who marked their presence to demand statehood for the union territory under the sixth schedule. The protesters also indulged in a conversation with Wangchuk through a phone call and conveyed their solidarity and wishes to him.

Dhruv Gupta, who leads the Mumbai segment of the movement, said, "I have been working in the field of climate change as an environmentalist for a few years. When Mr. Wangchuk started his climate fast, I got in touch with him and we discussed the national movement of Friends of Ladakh and Nature. He suggested that I lead the Mumbai segment of the movement and we are trying to spread awareness about this issue among the people of Mumbai."

The members of the Mumbai segment have created a WhatsApp group which already has been joined by more than 500 people. Activists also carried out a Twitter storm marking their demands on social media with a hashtag ‘Save Ladakh’. The climate activists and enthusiasts are planning to gather once a week as a part of this movement. On Sunday, people will join to observe a fast for the entire day and strengthen Wangchuk’s climate fast.

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