SCAL­ING HEIGHTS TO LIGHTEN UP LIVES

Twenty par­tic­i­pants from seven coun­tries are trekking to the Hi­malayas to elec­trify its re­mote vil­lages

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety - Henna Rakheja ■ henna. rakheja@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

My pri­mary in­tent in tak­ing part in this ex­pe­di­tion is to ex­pe­ri­ence a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity while chang­ing lives. Also, to cre­ate so­cial aware­ness that can have a greater im­pact on a more global scale,” says an elated Ni­cholas Pa­padikas, a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst from USA, as he picks up his bag, and looks up­wards to scale the heights of the Hi­malayas for the third Global Hi­malayan Ex­pe­di­tion (GHE).

Pa­padikas is one of the 20 par­tic­i­pants from seven coun­tries who have been short­listed from 6,507 global ap­pli­cants this year. Among the cho­sen 20 is a World Cup win­ner in skiing from Den­mark, and en­trepreneurs from Peru and Oman.

GHE, a trek to elec­trify re­mote vil­lages in the moun­tains, was started three years ago by four friends – Paras Loomba, Bharat Joshi, Varun Loomba and Jaideep Bansal. “We had been regularly vis­it­ing Ladakh and came across vil­lages that had no ac­cess to elec­tric­ity. Since all of us were work­ing across in­dus­tries, we thought of bring­ing our en­er­gies to­gether and came up with GHE,” says Joshi.

The four were guided by Sir Robert Swan, a po­lar ex­plorer known for In­ter­na­tional Antarc­tic Ex­pe­di­tion. “Af­ter set­ting up the Third Pole Ed­u­ca­tion Base (E-Base) dur­ing our maiden ex­pe­di­tion, we went a step fur­ther last year by set­ting up three So­lar Mi­cro­grids at Sumda Chenmo, an 11th cen­tury an­cient vil­lage nes­tled at 14000 ft in the Zan­skar val­ley,” says Paras Loomba, the ex­pe­di­tion leader.

As you read this ar­ti­cle, the group of four would’ve al­ready set on the jour­ney this year, with the aim to reach and light up the re­mote vil­lage of Um­lung in Markha Val­ley.

Robert Swan (sec­ond from right) with mem­bers of the ex­pe­di­tion Sumda Chenmo vil­lage as it looks now, af­ter those

who went on the sec­ond edi­tion of GHE lit it up

Bharat Joshi (L) and Paras Loomba, co-founders of GHE

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