Ladakh is a home to over 3000 villages, most of which do not have electricity. Primary reason for this is the inaccessibility of these areas due to extreme weather, high altitude and topography of the region. Locals are forced to depend on kerosene and diesel for light and cooking which has harmful side-effects ranging from short-term effects like eye and throat irritation, to long-term effects like respiratory diseases and cancer.
The Ladakh region receives abundant sunlight due to its altitude, thin air and lack of moisture, making solar energy a promising source of energy. Tapping the potential of solar energy in this region can offset the emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) by 12 tons for a village of 100 homes annually.
It is better to light a lamp than to curse the darkness. I am making one such effort to bring light to a village in Ladakh, as part of this year's Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE). GHE is an initiative that focuses on providing clean energy and education access to remote off-grid communities across the Himalayan ranges of north India. This May, along with a group of international volunteers, I'll trek 11 days through the Himalayas to ‘Doltho’, a remote village which has no electrical grid access, where I'll help install solar micro-grids which will serve to power the village with sustainable, clean electricity.
GHE’s objective is to implement technological solutions in a sustainable, scalable, and environmentally beneficial manner, leading to an overall development of the community while empowering the local village's population. GHE has till date electrified 82 villages and impacted 35000+ lives since it began with its pilot model of DC based electrification in 2014.
GHE 2019’s expedition cost is $3000 i.e. INR 2,13,500/- per participant:
- (40%) Cost of micro-grids, distribution system and household lightings + its customisation
- (25%) Identification & surveying villages + Mobilization of resources + Installation
- (15%) Initial support capital for cooperative fund + Training villagers
- (20%) Trek from Leh to village Sking + Food + Equipment
My sincere thanks for your generous contribution.
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If you are curious to find out more about GHE’s previous expedition on lighting up the village ‘Shade’, there is a documentary by a national daily news channel (NDTV) at the following links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p1B7OyTQqU