Imagine, you wake up to a window showcasing a panoramic view stealing your breath away, with mild breeze singing by your ears and the freshness in air fueling your lungs for the day coming ahead. Wouldn’t that be the best wake up call? Now imagine a day where your window showcases a yard filled with plastics and disposed bottles, and the mild breeze carries the foul smell of degraded waste; supposedly not the best way to start your day. When commercialization sets in To all the tourists out there, Ladakh; the land of lamas, the land of cold desert is turning into a deserted moonscape. Where once you attained solitude with a constant chanting of prayers by the men in red robes in the beautiful Thiksey Monastery; now has humans whispers and chirps. Where once you were one in the hundred who traversed the valley of barren mountains; now has humongous flow of lakhs of travelers. Wait a minute, if you think its all turning sad and before you get disheartened; the world of business has helped our fellow mates in Ladakh in lot many ways. A time when the Ladakhis only depended on the agro-based economy has found its new dependency in tourism. Where the youth flocked the metropolitan cities in search of jobs, now have their own transport lines and hospitality chains back in their hometown. So, is it not a win-win then? No! Like yin-yang, Ladakh too needs a balance. A balance between the rate of commercialization and environmental care. A balance between livelihood and sustainable future. The rate at which the commercialization is advancing, we might lose Ladakh amidst the Himalayan Range. With an influx of 2,50,000 travelers each year, we are leaving not just our trails but carbon footprints which will slowly and gradually kill the only source of water there - the glaciers. Cause of concern If only water was an alarming issue in the desert; global warming is doing no less. The local pollution too is adding to the melting of glaciers causing flash floods and cloud bursts; breaking the livelihood of locales and hamlets at the river banks. Ladakh holidays implies usage of bikes and jeeps to jaunt through Nubra valley. Also to reach the mesmerizingly beautiful lake of Pangong. It also implies release of smoke with black suspended particles with an usage of diesel run engines; adding more to the ongoing problems faced by Ladakhis. What environmentalists have to say The scientist inspiring the Rancho, lead in 3 Idiots - Sonam Wangchuk and Tsewang Dolma are environmental activists not looking after Ladakh alone but also the tourists visiting Ladakh. With a solution of developing an alternative city around the bountiful city of Leh will dissolve major issue of water shortage and also garbage management. The majestic Ice Stupas too are a cure to the malady of Ladakh. Read more about the ice stupas here: https://shoesonloose.com/ice-stupas-conserving-water-in-the-rancho-way/ What Shoes on Loose has to say For the coming bookings in the year 2019, we want you to REWIND, REPEAT & RELIVE your days in Ladakh; where 3R’s also mean REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE. As the countdown for new year has begun, lets start with setting one new resolution for being a nature frontier and not an ignorant tourist. Want to know how we are planning to do this? Stay tuned for our next blog as Shoes on Loose has planned some innovative ways to SAVE LADAKH!