“Why chase heroes of silver screen, when you can become the heroes of your own story? Become the heroes yourself and do something that will make life better for others,” says Wangchuk, who designed the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) campus that runs entirely on solar energy.
He has played a key role in bringing into focus, the education system in Ladakh. Through Operation New Hope that was launched in 1994, he worked at bringing together the government, communities and the civil society, to bring reforms in the government school system. At a time when the school education system is going through an overhaul in TN, he says, “I have seen that countries with a very good education system have it simpler. For example, Finland, which is supposed to be the best in early education system, does not even teach alphabets till Class 7. Instead of looking at other systems, each state has to have the confidence and the kind of vision to see what their needs are. Tamil Nadu should be able to do what it likes. Otherwise what is the point of having a state education system,” asks Wangchuk, the inventor of Ice Stupa - artificial glaciers that store winter water and is used later in summer to supply water to crops as they melt.
“Schools should engage students from Class 8 onwards to apply their knowledge. We also need good teachers who can go beyond lectures,” he says. The innovator was in the city recently to attend an event organised by Entrepreneurs’ Organization. When asked for his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, he says, “If you are innovative about innovation, you can do a lot with high school education. ” He further adds, “You need to be an original thinker and have true passion and not be influenced by parents and relatives.
It is the passion that will see you through the ups and downs. You are likely to persist longer and in entrepreneurship, this is important.” He is currently busy with the crowdfunding campaign for the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh. “It aims to engage the youth 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.”