SCALING HEIGHTS TO LIGHTEN UP LIVES
Twenty participants from seven countries are trekking to the Himalayas to electrify its remote villages
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