Phunsukh Wangdu inspiration Sonam Wangchuck has come up with a Made in India invention for Indian soldiers that will help them stay warm even in the freezing cold of Ladakh. The Ladakh-based innovator and educationist have invented a solar-powered military tent which according to his claims can keep soldiers warm at 15 degrees even when it’s -14 degrees outside.  

In 2009, Rajkumar Hirani directed 3 Idiots inspired a generation of parents and children with its unique outlook on education. In the film, perfectionist Aamir Khan played the character of Phunsukh Wangdu who navigated his college life with a charming smile and interesting inventions. Most people later came to know that Aamir’s character was based on Sonam Wangchuk, a Ladakh-based educationist. 

Wangchuck is the director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, an NGO which nourishes Indians who want to develop alternative energy sources. Wangdu is well known for inventing the Ice Stupa. The Ice Stupa is a glacier grafting technique that can create artificial glaciers that can be used to store water.  

The recent invention by Wangchuk comes for Indian soldiers at a crucial time. As the Chinese PLA is retreating from the Pangong Tso, Indian army soldiers may need to station themselves there day and night to protect the Indian border. In Pangong Tso, which is in Ladakh, mercury often falls to minus zero levels in winters.  

For such situations, Wangchuk’s invention may come in handy. The Indian Army men should have no issues with the sub-zero temperatures as Sonam Wangchuk has come up with a unique military tent. These tents are solar-powered and can keep the temperature inside it steady at around 15 degrees celsius even if the temperatures outside fall down to –14 degrees. According to Wangchuk, these tents will replace tonnes of kerosene that is used to keep the tents heated. Moreover, the solar-heated tents can be used by up to 10 Indian army jawans at a time and are also completely portable.  

The innovator took to Twitter to share his innovation. In his tweet, Wangchuk wrote, “SOLAR HEATED MILITARY TENT for #indianarmy at #galwanvalley ,+15 C at 10 pm now, Min outside last night was -14 C, Replaces tons of kerosene, pollution #climatechange, For 10 jawans, fully portable all parts weigh less than 30 Kgs.” 

So far, his tweet has gotten over 113.6K likes and it’s been retweeted over 27.7 thousand times by netizens who were impressed by his innovation. Even entrepreneur Anand Mahindra of Mahindra & Mahindra shared Wangchuk’s tweet and said, “Sonam, you’re the MAN! I salute you.  Your work is energizing, even this late in the evening.” 

Wangchuck is the founder of the Student Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL). He founded the non-profit organization in 1988 along with a group of his students. The entire institute is designed keeping in mind the alternative sources of energy. No fossil fuel or other kinds of pollutants are used here for cooking, lighting, or heating.