When Ladakh opened to tourism and “development”, changes in culture, economy and the environment were considered harmless and could be ignored. Today, however, these changes are something that shakes Ladakh’s future. In response to the growing modern western trend and to revive cultural and biological diversity, LEDeG was formed in 1983. The organization was founded, to strengthen the local community and economy, by Helena Norgberg-Hodge, a Swedish linguist. Together with LEDeG, Norgberg-Hodge received the “Alternate Nobel Prize”, the “Right livelihood” award in 1986 for their work.
Over the past few decades, LEDeG has influenced Ladakh’s development in many ways. LEDeG was the first to talk about and introduce the concept of renewable energy. They were also pioneers in the field of appropriate technology for the field and for a sustainable society. One of these techniques was passive and active houses. A technology in which heat is distributed throughout the house either through the sun (passive house) or some other energy source (active house). This is to bring the heat up in a sustainable way in the houses that are otherwise very cold during the winter season. This technology has spread to thousands of houses in the region. LEDeG has also provided many villages with electricity via solar panels as well as having these villages acquire a traditional way of growing organic.
Today, the organization also works with women’s groups where they give power to rural women by creating self-help groups to, among other things, be able to sell their craft products in the local market. LEDeG has also started a training center where you can learn traditional ways of creating bricks of clay and straw. Today, LEDeG is also driving the transformation of the city of Leh into a sustainable, inclusive and lively city in the Himalayas. If you want to know about LEDeG then do not hesitate to contact your friend group Ladakh’s friends.