This profile was prepared when Yambem Laba was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1987.
The New Idea
Yambem Laba has transformed the once elite activity of trekking into a program which teaches youth from all social strata about environmental and ecological issues, while performing the much-needed voluntary work of reforestation and slowing the degradation of the Indian environment. At the same time, the program Laba founded, which operates under the supervision of Manipur Mountaineering Institute (MMT), focuses on developing the participants' courage, endurance, sense of fraternity, and personal excellence. The main objective of Laba's activities is to harness and channel the energy of Manipur youths to useful and productive endeavors. Laba seeks to help the youths to realize their potentials, to extend their limits, to grow up concerned about their environment and socio-economic realities and to be ready to do something to improve the current situation.