New Delhi: Ladakh-based education reformist, innovator and entrepreneur Sonam Wangchuk aims to collect Rs 7 crore through crowd-funding by the coming January 26 for setting up the first school of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL).
Wangchuk is best known for inspiring the movie character Phunsukh Wangdu in "3 Idiots" which was played by Aamir Khan.
HIAL aims to engage youths from multiple Himalayan countries in Research & Development (R&D) to tackle the issues faced by mountain people, especially in the domains of education, culture and the environment.
The university also aims to "break the rigid boxes of conventional thinking, be relevant to people's lives, and encourage learning via practical application of knowledge".
According to Wangchuk, over Rs 4.6 crore out of the total crowd-funding target has already been collected.
"We expect to complete the crowd-funding target of Rs 7 crore by January 26, 2018. Then there is another target of collecting Rs 7 crore from corporates," Wangchuk said.
Wangchuk said that a total of Rs 14 crore is required to set up the first school -- School of Integrated Mountain Development -- under the upcoming university.
On the corporate funding, Wangchuk said that his "team is in talks with the Indian Railways for contribution towards the university".
In his personal capacity, Wangchuk, has contributed around Rs 2.5 crore towards the university project which includes his Rolex Award prize money and earnings he made through lecture tours.
It is estimated that the university will fully come up in around 12 years time, while its first phase would be completed by 2020 at a cost of over Rs 150 crore.