Innovator Sonam Wangchuk awarded honorary D.Litt degree

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Pune : Sonam Wangchuk, the Ladakh- based engineer whose life inspired a character in Bollywood blockbuster “3 Idiots”, has been awarded an honorary D.Litt degree by a university here in Maharashtra.

He was awarded in recognition of his work as an innovator and educationist by the Symbiosis International (Deemed University) here Tuesday.

President Ram Nath Kovind was the chief guest on the occasion.

After accepting the degree, Wangchuk, the real life ‘Phunsukh Wangdu’ of the Aamir Khan-starrer film, said he has not done anything big or special.

“I did what humanity demands people to do,” said the engineer-turned-educationist who set up the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL).

SECMOL is a non-traditional school which brought in educational reform in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and improved the number of students clearing exams up to the intermediate level.

Wangchuk said when he saw students failing in the remote region of Ladakh, he decided to do something about it.

“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.

He said it was out of humanity that he worked towards making the best use solar energy and creating artificial glaciers to address the problem of water scarcity.