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August 10th, 2013

Global Himalayan Expedition- Day Zero

Its Day Zero of the Expedition and almost everyone is here! 30 Participants. 6 Nations. A Global Expedition. Some of us have already acclimatized to the altitude (11,000 ft above sea level), while some of us are getting there. The Global Himalayan Expedition is about to begin! An adventure of a lifetime awaits all of us on the ‘Roof of the world’- Ladakh. We are here!!

I think the greatest miracle yet has been making it this far! Some of us have been on the International Antarctic Expedition with 2041, some of us are in the mountains for the very first time, for some of us it’s the first-ever Expedition of our lives. The dictionary meaning of an Expedition goes like this- ‘A journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose’. We are all here in Ladakh for the next few days with one purpose –Sustainability, which, we are going to make possible with the launch of the third e-Base.

Robert Swan is here with us in Leh, the Capital city and We have together had the chance to see some of the most amazing places possible in the world, with the GHE and 2041 flag flying high at the Khardungla Pass, the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,380 feet! Known as the Last Shangrila, Ladakh is just breathtakingly inspiring!

Sonal Asgotraa, Robert Swan and Divya Nawale

Having seen the E-Base at Bellingshausen in the Antarctic, which is the first of its kind in the world and been a part of the team setting up of the Second one in Pench Tiger Reserve in India during 2011, just being here for the Launch of the third education station is overwhelming. It’s amazing what a full-circle this has come to, the third e-base of its kind, in the Himalayas, also known as the ‘Third Pole of the World.’

Robert Swan, flying the 2041 flag in Leh

What Paras Loomba and the team are trying to achieve here for the Ladakhi children  in the region by connecting them to the ‘Outside World’ is a magnanimous effort. I can’t wait to see it all in ACTION tomorrow morning as we initiate the expedition and the e-base at the same time. The e-base at the ’3rd Pole’ is a modest attempt to bridge the educational gaps for one of the remotest regions in the world. For these school kids, it would open up a new world of possibilities, ideas and future as it will for all of us participants here. We will be a part of the ‘Change’ that will help promote Sustainability in this region and also the rest of world. We hope to make a difference.

Divya Nawale, IAE Alumni

See how solar is being brought to the ‘Roof of the World’ in this recent article in the  Hindustan Times.