Sonam Wangchuk, the inspiration behind Phunsukh Wangdu, awarded honorary D.Litt degree by Symbiosis


Symbiosis awards Sonam Wangchuk with an honorary D.Litt degree for his exceptional work; I did what humanity demands, says Ladakh’s best-known innovator and educationist.

Ladakh-based innovator Sonam Wangchuk was awarded an honorary D.Litt degree by Symbiosis International (Deemed University) in Pune on Tuesday. He was honoured for his work as an innovator and an educationist. President Ram Nath Kovind was the chief guest at the event.

Sonam, supposedly the inspiration behind Aamir Khan’s Phunsuk Wangdu in 2009 film 3 idiots, said he had not “done anything big or special”. “I did what humanity demands people [should] do,” said the engineer-turned-educationist.

Sonam Wangchuk, source The Hindu

Sonam set up the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) in 1988. The non-traditional residential school inspired many young minds in Ladakh pursue their education. It motivated and helped many students to clear exams up to the intermediate level, The Indian Express reported.

Seeing students in his region fail or give up on education wasn’t something that Sonam could live with.

For me, my house was on fire, and young brothers and sisters were in distress. So when your house is on fire, there is nothing special in throwing water on it. It is your duty, and if you don’t do it, that is surprising, he said.

Apart from reforming the lives of young people through education, he addressed the issue of water scarcity by creating artificial glaciers and used solar energy to light up dark houses in the region, Jagran Josh reported.

Born in 1966 to Sonam Wangyal, a state government minister, Sonam Wangchuk was also honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay award this year.


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