Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Celebrate 50 years of The Award in India by Engaging in the 2nd Gold Solar Project with Ecosphere, Spiti from 9th to 25th June, 2012

The 1st Gold Solar Group after successful completion of the Bath Project with The King of Spiti and nuns of Morang 

Calling GOLD AWARD HOLDERS AND GOLD AWARD PARTICIPANTS to Celebrate the 50 years of The International Award in India through Active Engagement in a Sustainable Project in Northern Himalayas.

To highlight the need for sustainable development and engage young people in projects to witness first hand the positive outcomes of Societal Engagement, with focus on other valuable and crucial aspects/issues closely related like Environmental Consciousness, adaptation to a Multicultural Environment, and Social Networking.

The Spiti Gold Solar Project presented by the International Award for Young People, India; the Gold Award Holders' Society of India in collaboration with Award Social Partner- Ecosphere is a unique opportunity to Gold Level Participants and Gold Holders to undertake an international adventurous journey and engage in a residential project in Himalayas in June 2012. This project will provide an interesting insight into Spitian life, culture and Buddhist heritage and provide an opportunity to be a part of the environment preservation initiative taken by the community.

Through the Spiti Solar Project, Ecosphere aims to showcase the fragile environment in the highest mountain range of the world while encouraging young people to have a positive transformative experience through:   
Participants with monks during visit to Key Monastery, June 2011
  • Exchange of cultures not only with the Buddhist locals in the area but also with the other participants in the Project coming from a different areas and cultural backgrounds, and thus boosting up Social Networking.
  • Instilling Environmental Consciousness and emboldening the students/youth to engage in a sustainable development project that will ensure long-term significant Social Impact in the community through the construction of a solar facility in the area. 
  • A chance to visit and enjoy the picturesque beauty of the highest mountain range in the world, and simultaneously become successful in making a positive change towards the community, as a Global Citizen.

ABOUT ECOSPHERE: Award Social Partner

Ishita in her office in Kaza, Spiti
Ecosphere founded by Ashoka FellowGold Holder and Gold Award Holders’ Society of India President- Ms. Ishita Khanna; is a social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development through collaborations with the local community of Spiti and professionals from diverse backgrounds. 

There is a vast array of subtle complexities that bind together the various facets of the Himalayas. These are amply manifest in the ecology, people, culture, religion and geology of this extremely fragile and complex eco-system. Ecosphere Spiti are consciously striving towards ensuring that your visits to these pristine lands have minimum impact on the region and in turn directly contribute to conservation and development.

With focus to creating sustainable livelihoods that are linked to nature and culture conservation, Ecosphere addresses the triple bottom-line of conservation, development and economies. To know more about Spiti and Ecosphere, visit

At Key Monastery
ABOUT SPITI: The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal PradeshSpiti - ‘a world within a world' as described by Rudyard Kipling (of ‘Kim' fame) - is a relatively unknown world, tucked away in the Trans-Himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh.

Reaching for the skies at average (valley floor) altitudes of 3600 mts, this peculiar geo-climatic cold desert region borders Tibet in the east and Ladakh in the north. Spanning an area of approximately 8000 sq km Spiti is home to a purely homogenous Buddhist Society of just over 10,000, who bear stark cultural similarities with their neighbours in Tibet & Ladakh.

Lying in the rain shadow of the mighty Himalayas, Spiti receives scanty rainfall. A cold desert at an average altitude of 4000mts, the valley experiences extremes of climate and temperature variations ranging from -25 degree to +30 degrees centigrade. For more than 4 months of the year the Spiti valley remains obscured by harsh winters.


Greening Spiti Project  is of special significance in
Spiti since the region is devoid of green vegetables. 

Most of the supply comes from the neighbouring cities of Shimla and Manali which takes 2 days. This excessive transportation makes the vegetables both expensive as well as high in their carbon footprint. Moreover in the 6 month long winters there is no availability of green vegetables as access to the neighbouring regions is cut off. 

The greenhouses developed by Ecosphere enable locals to cultivate vegetables not only in the summers but also in the winters at temperatures as low as -25 degrees centigrade. These green houses contribute to better health for the locals, reduction in emissions and also in providing them with an additional source of income.

1st Gold Solar Bath project, Morang Nunnery, June 201
Climate Solution Project through the construction of a solar facilities is of great significance in this region as great amounts of fuel wood, coal and wood is burnt for heating water that contributes to CO2 and black carbon emissions. The latter having far more damaging affects on the melting of glaciers and snow on a local level. 

Through the set up of a solar bath that includes both a passive solar structure as well as a solar water heating system, we enable the people to cut down on emissions (especially reducing black carbon) as well as enable them to have better hygiene through regular availability of hot water.


2011 Participants with Chomo Choden-Head, Morang Nunnery
In June 2011,a group of Award Participants spent two weeks successfully building a Solar Passive Bath in the remote Buddhist nunnery of Morang Village, Spiti. This project will allow the nuns to save over 3.5 tons of fuel wood per annum and provide ready access to hot water in the winters when temperatures dip to minus 35 degrees centigrade.

 “Our project will enable the local people to cut down on emissions and also to have better hygiene through regular availability of hot water.” – stated Arnav Saxena, a Gold Award participant of he 2011 Project. “Moreover, getting dirty in the mud and having fun working amidst the beautiful Himalayas- the highest mountain range in the world, the calm and pure winds at an average altitude of 4000metres above sea level, the simple yet sumptuous meals with the local Spitians in their cozy mud homes… all of these would just have been a mere desire if I had not applied for the Gold Spiti Project.” – he added enthusiastically. Hear more about the Trip


Dates: 9th to 25th June 2012

Open to all Gold Holders and Gold Award participants worldwide

Qualifies for Gold Level Residential Project and Adventurous Journey (Exploration)

Cost (Excluding Taxes): Indian Rupees 31,000.00 (Thirty One Thousand) per participant from New Delhi to Spiti and back. Does not include travel fare of transit from/to participant’s country and back.

You can pay through The Award Store at


For more details, contact Nivedita at

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