Monday, February 6, 2023
 
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Waterkeeper Alliance launches Himalayan Glacier Waterkeeper Initiative in Ladakh



Leh,July 20 (Scoop News)-Waterkeeper Alliance, in partnership with Live to Love International and Himalayan Glacier Waterkeeper, founded by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, today launched the Himalayan Glacier Waterkeeper Initiative in Ladakh at Druk Padma Karpo School, Shey. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative to protect water bodies in the Himalayas, which for the source of fresh water for nearly half the world’s population in Asia. His Eminence Thuksey Rinpoche was the chief guest on the occasion and CEC, LAHDC Dr. Sonam Dawa was the guest of honour.
Addressing the gathering, His Eminence Thuksey Rinpoche highlighted the vitality of water from a spiritual and physical point of view. He added, "Spiritually we always talk of love, compassion and peace but the need is to put it in action which we can ensure by saving and keeping water clean because every sentient being is dependent on it.” He advocated that each person can contribute to world peace by taking care of the environment and water and stressed on the need to educate people who are primarily responsible for polluting water and the environment. “This is one reason for holding the event at Druk Padma School to ensure participation of students who are responsible for the future of Ladakh,” he added.
CEC Dr. Sonam Dawa expressed gratitude to His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche and His Eminence Thuksey Rinpoche for their initiatives and endeavor to protect the fragile ecology of Ladakh through various environmental programmes with support from experts in India and around the world. He said that Glacier Waterkeepers in Ladakh is a very important initiative. He added that the people of Ladakh are lucky to have the guidance of Rinpoches not only for spiritual guidance but also for the wisdom and education they provide for environmental issues that have become a serious concern in Ladakh with unexpected and uncontrolled developments over the last few decades.
Dr. Dawa made a special appeal to the students to take the responsibility to rectify the mistake made by their elders by clearing contaminated water bodies and ensure that future generations receive clean water. He stressed on the need to unite without any religious and social bias to work together on issues concerning Ladakh as a whole and assured help and support from the Hill Council. In response to a request from His Eminence Thuksey Rinpoche, Dr Dawa committed to take immediate action and ban the washing of vehicles along river banks.
"The famous Ladakhi saying ‘Chu met, na youl met,’ holds a special place in the heart and minds of our people”, said Padma Tashi, Himalayan Glacier Waterkeeper. He said that the purpose of launching Glacier Waterkeeper in Ladakh is to educate people to keep water bodies clean and to save water resources. He added that it is also an effort to promote initiatives taken by people like Padmashree Mr. Tsewang Norphel (Glacier Man) in water conservation and building a movement to collect data to combat the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources in Ladakh. He also made a request to Dr. Dawa to organise environment-based programmes in schools through the Education Department to create awareness amongst students on environmental issues. Mr. Tashi also gave a presentation on water issues in Ladakh.
International Director, Waterkeeper Alliance, Sharon Khan gave a presentation on Waterkeeper Alliance, their objectives, contributions and work areas. She expressed her joy on Ladakh becoming a part of it and expressed hope that the waterkeeper and his team in Ladakh will contribute in saving water from pollution and over-use. A short video about Waterkeeper Alliance was also shown to the participants.
The event concluded with a colourful cultural program presented by the students of Druk Padma Karpo School.
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