Bharat Express

Sonam Wangchuk Concludes 21-Day ‘Climate Fast’ in Ladakh, Issues New Plea to PM Modi

Sonam Wangchuk Concludes ‘Climate Fast’ and Unveils Next Steps to Urge Government for Demands

Renowned climate activist Sonam Wangchuk concluded his 21-day hunger strike on Tuesday, which he had initiated to advocate for Ladakh’s statehood and the preservation of the delicate Himalayan ecology. However, Wangchuk emphasized that while his hunger strike had ended, the movement would persist as women protesters were poised to begin a ‘climate fast’ starting the following day.

Addressing his supporters, Wangchuk clarified, “This marks the conclusion of phase 1 of the hunger strike, but not the culmination of our movement. Tomorrow, women protesters will commence their hunger strike, which will continue for as long as necessary.”

Wangchuk’s decision to end his hunger strike came shortly after he appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the promises made to the people, particularly highlighting commitments outlined in the BJP’s election manifestoes. Drawing upon the ethos of ‘pran jaye par vachan na jaye’ (one may lose their life, but must not break their promise), Wangchuk urged Modi to uphold his pledges.

Asserting the power of citizens in a democracy, Wangchuk emphasized the importance of utilizing the ballot carefully for the betterment of the nation. He reminded supporters of their influence as ‘kingmakers’ to prompt governmental change if necessary.

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Sonam Wangchuk, known for his role as an education reformist and the inspiration behind Aamir Khan’s character in the Bollywood film “3 Idiots,” had been undertaking the ‘climate fast’ in Leh’s sub-zero temperatures since March 6. The hunger strike was initiated following a deadlock in talks regarding Ladakh’s statehood and its inclusion in the Sixth Schedule.

The agitation, led jointly by Leh-based Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), aims to raise awareness of the region’s demands. Wangchuk noted the significant participation of Ladakh’s residents in the hunger strike, with approximately 60,000 out of 300,000 residents joining the protest.

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Expressing concern for the fragile Himalayan ecosystem and the indigenous tribal cultures of Ladakh, Wangchuk emphasized the need for Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to take action to protect these vital aspects of the region.