Current Affairs 19 March 2019 Digest 3: India Post releases special stamp cover on Ice Stupas
The Department of Post has released a special stamp cover on Ice Stupa. The special stamps aim to create awareness about depleting glaciers and affect the ecology around the Himalayas. Global warming and ecological imbalance have caused irreparable damage to the Himalayas in the past several years.
The Indian Department of Post on March 18, 2019 released a ‘special stamp cover on Ice Stupa’. The stamp was released by Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Postmaster General during a function organised at the Ice Stupa site at Gangles Village in Leh.
A number of officers and dignitaries from Army and civil administration were present on the occasion.
The special stamps aim to create awareness about depleting glaciers and affect the ecology around the Himalayas. Global warming and ecological imbalance have caused irreparable damage to the Himalayas in the past several years.
Why are Ice Stupas being built?
Ice Stupas also known as artificial glaciers, are being built with an aim to reduce the problem of water shortage, faced by Ladakhi farmers due to receding of glaciers.
Over 12 villages in Ladakh have built Ice Stupas this year in various villages.
Who is building them?
The idea of the Ice Stupa project was conceptualised by HIAL founder Sonam Wangchuk to reduce problems of Ladakhi farmers in spring.
The Ice Stupa team of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL) with support and cooperation from Leh-Phodo society and Army, has built an Ice Stupa at Gangles village.
From next year, the team has planned to build more of such artificial glaciers in Leh. The village youth have also participated in the building of the ice Stupas with the technical and material support by HIAL.
This year, the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives has organised a competition among the villages on ice Stupas, to keep the engaged youth motivated.
How are the Ice Stupas formed?
The artificial glaciers are being built by saving winter water, which flows waste, in a cone-shaped stupa that does not melt easily.
The stupas have been designed to melt slowly, as a result serving the purpose of drinking and irrigation for those living in the nearby villages.
The Ice Stupa is a survival technique that has been developed over a period. Each stupa has the capacity to store at least 30-50 lakh litres of water. This is apart from the naturally saved water in the slopes of mountains.