Global Himalayan Expedition
Organized by: Arnold Sullivan
EVENT DATE Aug 09, 2015
The Global Himalayan Expedition is the first of its kind impact initiative in India. It combines community development initiatives with adventure tourism and leadership. The expedition focuses on reaching out to marginalized communities living in the remotest parts of India, such as Ladakh, and bringing renewable energy and LED lighting to these remote villages.
In August 2013, in Leh, Ladakh (India), the team set up an Education Base (E-Base); a 100% solar powered facility comprising of a digital library, tablets, internet and various other learning tools to enable cross-cultural learning between the local kids and the outside world.
Lack of electricity and education are the key problems in Himalayan communities. In 2014, GHE went a step further having set its eyes on electrification of a village located at 14,000ft in Zanskar valley. Sumda Chenmo, a 1000 year old village had never seen electricity. A team of 24 individuals from 10 different countries, came together to setup 3 DC Solar Micro-grids, that lit up this remote Himalayan village. This was the first such installation by a group in the Himalayas. Participants trekked for 3 days from the nearest sign of civilization to get to the village. Solar Panels, batteries and wire bundles were carried on horseback. The Expedition team wired up all the houses in the village, dug up electric poles, fixed 121 LED bulbs, including a DC LED TV and installed 3 sets of solar panels and got the grid up and running in exactly 2 days.
Now, in 2015, the team will be setting up a similar DC solar powered micro grid in another remote Himalayan village. Not only will the grid bring lighting to a village which has never before had electric bulbs, the grid will create a healthier environment for the villagers and bolster their local economy. By cutting down on a majority of the kerosene fuel used in the village, the micro grid will ensure that villagers no longer have too spend nearly a third of their income on kerosene, as well as creating a much cleaner indoor environment. The grid will also create a lasting economic base in the village, as the electric lighting will allow the villagers to offer more hospitable lodgings to the hikers and backpackers who form the backbone of the local economy.