Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How they made a difference – Part 1...

The campaign may have been started by an organisation with a vision, but it comes down to individuals, common people like you and me who can really influence positive change in our minds and actions. This then spirals down to change in society as a whole and then our country. And to think of it, it all starts with one responsible person. 
Here are stories of a few common people (actually not so common!) who took the initiative to inspire change in themselves and others, and became true ‘green hikers’. Kudos to them!

In May 2011, this 33-year old from Bombay journeyed through the Sundardunga Valley in Kumaon, Uttarakhand, besides visiting Devi Kund, Maiktoli BC and the Sundardunga caves. Amar loves the fact that during his journeys, he is cut off from everything else in the world and can enjoy a peaceful union with nature. He realizes that up there, money and power mean nothing. Nature rules and it is a humbling feeling. When the urge to meet his mountains arises, Amar leaves behind his hectic job and family and does what he likes best – trek.

A house midway to Khati - Jaitoli
Months before this journey, he wrote in asking how he could help save the mountains that he loved. Off we sent him some Green Hiker awareness material to share and distribute along the way. Trekkers travel light, but to take the initiative to happily carry this material high up is commendable. Amar put up posters at villages Khati and Jaitoli - the last stop-over points for trekkers, where they could be seen by other travellers. He also spoke to the owner of his hotel and a few other local people. Amar sensed that they understood the environmental issues and what Green Hiker was all about but did not follow. He hopes that time will change this.

Amar is worried about the kind of amateur trekkers who travel with tour companies and treat the mountains like a picnic spot, leaving behind garbage and loud echoes. He believes that the way to deal with this problem is to tutor them via posters and also encouraging tour companies to emphasise the importance of maintaining cleanness as part of their work.

At Jaitoli with the hotel's owner
When asked whether he felt he had made a difference, he said, “One cannot always be present 100% of the time to ensure the environs remain clean. Hopefully, what I leave behind in the form of posters will at least remind my fellow trekkers to keep the environment clean. The owner of the hotel will also do the same. A little gesture, to give something back to the Himalaya.”

You can read more about Amar’s journeys at

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