Join us to make India a world leader in innovative education | Milaap
Join us to make India a world leader in innovative education
  • Himalayan

    Created by

    Himalayan Institute Of Alternatives
  • SE

    This fundraiser will benefit

    Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh

    from Leh

J&K State Education Minister Mr. Naeem Akhtar launches the crowdfunding campaign for the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh,  at a special function in New Delhi on 25th of November.  The minister promised all possible help from the state government.

Sonam Wangchuk in his talk " Next Learning Revolution" announced that the award money from the Rolex Award for Enterprise will be contributed as a seed money towards the university project. It will be used to green the desert land, using ice stupa artificial glaciers.

Everything around us has changed drastically in the last 150 years...  from riding on horse backs to  flying by aeroplanes, from using pigeons for mail to emails and smartphones; but in our schools, colleges and classrooms... almost nothing has changed.  Chalk, talk and paper... paper knowledge, paper evaluations, paper degrees all too papery and all too theoretical... very little that prepares us for real life in the real world.  

No wonder graduates coming out of most our colleges and universities finish a ritual and get their degrees but are highly unemployable, according to various studies.  Often employers end up re-educating the fresh recruits at their own expense.

In Ladakh, the situation is even worse. There are no functional universities in the region.  As a result, there is a mass exodus of youth to cities like Jammu and Chandigarh. Where they live like educational refugees learn very little that is of relevance to their lives and return as misfits for the mountain environment.

With the the blessings and support of His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpochey, one of the top spritual leaders in Tibetan Buddhism,  SECMOL, the Student’s Educational and Cultural  Movement Of Ladakh proposes to start an alternative university for mountain development. 
The government of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council Leh have supported the concept by earmarking 200 acres of land on the Phyang desert.  
And the desert is already starting to become green using the famous Ice Stupa artificial glacier technique.

Hi, I am Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh, a beautiful trans-Himalayan mountain desert on the Tibetan plateau, in the extreme north of India. I am a mechanical engineer by training, but have mostly worked in education reforms in my region for the last 25 years. This included setting up the SECMOL Alternative School well known for its innovative solutions to the region's educational and environmental problems. 

I recently won the Rolex Award for Enterprise for the Ice Stupa Artificial GlacierI have decided to use the award of roughly one crore rupees as a seed money towards the establishment of this alternative university in Ladakh.

The Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL)

HIAL will engage youths from multiple Himalayan countries in Research & Development to tackle the issues faced by mountain people, especially in the domains of education, culture, and the environment. Like SECMOL, the university aims to break the rigid boxes of conventional thinking, be relevant to people's lives, and encourage learning via practical application of knowledge.

Join hands to establish the world's first Alternative Mountain University which will set an example for all the others to follow.

How Can You Help? 

You can contribute however small or big.  $10 or $10,000, it is the spirit that counts.  It may not be easy to see the possible impact of your contribution at present;  but your $10 could pave the way for billions of dollars when this "alternative" university is established and is picked up by the mainstream development machinery i.e. government and other agencies in the rest of the world so that this university doesn't remain "alternative".

To support us with your skills and time please sign up here.

If you believe in what we do, please share this story with your friends and relatives. This is as much an awareness campaign as it is a fund raiser.

You can host small events in your neighborhood to screen the film, initiate discussions and spread awareness. This would make you an HIAL Ambassador. If you want to do this you should get in touch with us at

Our work and vision was recently covered on NDTV,  The Logical Indian and The Wire.

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