The goal of GHE was always about people. Starting in the remote city of Leh in the northern tip of India we would complete our first task before heading into the mountains for the second.
Ours was called the 'Third Pole E-Base' because the glaciers of the Himalayas are the worlds 3rd largest store of fresh water on the planet, and with billions of people dependent on the welt water that leads into India, China and more, climate change is having a devastating effect on these areas as well. In 2010 the Ladakh region of India, including Leh, was caught in devastating floods that wiped out villages, killing hundreds. It has been said that this flooding, caused by cloud bursts, are now occurring on a higher frequency because of the increasing temperature rise of the planet caused by mankind.
When discovering this, IAE Alumni Paras Loomba founded GHE, to bring electricity and education to a part of the world that was being affected by climate change so much, when having contributed towards it so little. By building the Third Pole E-Base, GHE gave the children of Mahabodhi School access to internet for the first time, expanding their educational horizons exponentially. With a working television and fully stocked library the E-Base would be a hub for learning about the environment with the internet, documentaries and books, all powered on solar energy.
The 2nd Goal
The next part of the expedition was to distribute portable electricity where it had never even been seen before. We trekked for a week from Leh to the remote village of Sumdha Chenmo where we then gave out solar powered lanterns. This meant the village no longer had to send a person away for 2 weeks to retrieve fuel from the nearest town to power the generators with, which only powered 3 lightbulbs wired into the kitchens of 3 houses.
With this renewable and portable energy the whole village could increase it's productivity, no longer having to stop all activities after the sun has set. By giving the village this technology it is more likely to survive as the younger generations grow up and want to move away to the cities.
The expedition as a whole took us on rocky mountain passes to monasteries and sacred lakes, meeting incredible people with inspiring stories along the way.
GHE 2013 was such a success they have escalated to installing fully functioning solar grids in remote villages across the region with GHE 2017 set to be the last one ever because they have reached every village!