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covid19 and himalayas

The Deadly Covid19 Pandemic and drooping Tourism Industry:


The Covid19 Pandemic has hit all of us really hard. Trains and flights, all are closed. There is fear all around. International borders, Inter-State borders, and even Inter-District borders are sealed. None of us could have ever imagined such a world where things would all shut down and come to a standstill. The Tourism industry was the first one to be closed and will be the last one to be healed and opened up again. However, safety first and we need to stay safe in our homes to stop the virus from spreading. More importantly, we need to be very cautious not to take this virus deep to the remote Himalayan villages where even basic medical facilities lack so much.
 
The Covid19 pandemic has brought the economy to its foot. From trek operators to the local Route Guides, Porter's, Cooks, etc. whose livelihood and families depend upon tourism. All of us are badly hit and struggling to sustain through. However, the Himalayas teaches us to stay patient and hold on. We shall overcome this soon!
 
 
 

A Pledge For Covid-Free Himalayan Villages:

 
In the light of events related to Covid19, we need to fight it together. We need to restrict travel for the period of lockdown and even beyond it for some time. This is not just for the safety of our trekkers, but also to prevent our staff and local villagers to get infected. As we work in remotest of the villages in the Indian Himalayas, where even getting basic medical facilities is a big deal, let's forget ventilators and any specialized help. We need to take the utmost care and deal with it with sensitivity. We are taking steps not to spread the pandemic to these villages and trek bases. The Himalayas will remain, perhaps heal a little during this period. Let us keep it safe, especially the lovely people living in these regions.

Awareness Campaign on Covid19 and Safety Hygiene practices including Mask And Soap Distribution in the Trek Bases:

done between April 11th to May 2nd

 
Our leaders who are stuck in Sankri, one of the popular trek base for many of the treks in Uttrakhand. Currently, they are raising awareness amongst the villagers and briefing them about the safety protocols to follow during this gloomy time of the Global Pandemic. We want to do more for the local guides and porters who are missing out on their daily wages and life is hitting hard on their families and children.
 
It was very difficult to procure and get things moving in the nationwide lockdown. However, we are grateful to people who helped us with the supplies and coordination during this hard time. The masks are being stitched by the women of Self Help Group, who otherwise used to make bags. Now they are making masks to help the cause and meet the demands. We are happy to keep the micro-economy ticking even in these gloomy days. 
 
Our team completed the distribution of the masks and soaps to all the villagers of SaudSankriSirgaTaluka, and Dhatmir. Further, we look forward to helping the guides, porters, cooks, camp helpers, and mules-men, etc. who have lost their livelihood due to the Covid19 Pandemic. For we owe them life-changing memories. We have prepared the list of families affected very badly by the pandemic in these 4 villages. We have filtered the list carefully and only included those who are facing extreme poverty and are very needy of help. We are planning to provide them with some essential ration support. In this endeavor, we need your support as well. Hence, a call to all of our past trekkers to help those in need in these times of crisis. We urge you to help and stand together for this cause.
 
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DONATE FOR THE CAUSE

We urge you to donate generously for the cause using the below 'Donate Now' link or by scanning the QR code using any UPI app.

After donating, we will send you a confirmation receipt. If you are using UPI app, do note to send us the payment reference code on Whatsapp or email, using the below contact form so that we can send you a payment confirmation.

We are keeping the accounting of the donated amount transparent to all the donors. All the transaction-related information can be visible upon visiting our donor's page which will be sent to you over email along with payment confirmation. Here you can not only see where and how the donated money is being spent, but also track the progress of work done so far, contribute your ideas to the team and interact with other donors.

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Request all of our International Trekker friends to come together for this cause. We are sure even your country must be facing some ill effects due to this global pandemic and pray that you all recover soon from this. 

Please use PayPal to transfer us your donations or use the below-mentioned bank account details to remit the donation to our bank. Do remember to send us an email or Whatsapp message with payment reference so that we can send you payment confirmation and allow you access to our Donor's page.

Donate Using PayPal


If you need our Bank Account Details, do write to us using the below contact form.

Covid19 - What and How

How We Want To Help | What We Want To Do:

Overview and Scope Of Help:

Our intent of help is very clear and defined. We want to make sure we help all those who are needy and are facing extreme poverty due to sudden closure of trekking tours and there is a huge lack of employment opportunities. We want to make sure we provide our help to all the Local Guides, Porters, Camp Helpers, Mulesmen etc. who are in need and are deprived of Government help. However, in the process, we do not want to compromise their dignity and also ensure that the result of it is fruitful for our Himalayas. We want to keep the micro-economy ticking, whatever little that can be made possible.

So, we have decided to filter out the needy people and others who would like to associate with us and then employ them to clean the trekking trails and nearby villages, install dustbins, set-up waste recycling processes, etc, In return, they would be earning wages and as a token of love and care, we would also be providing them with supplementary support ration and keep their livelihood ticking. We would do it in a phased manner.

 

Phase 1:

  1. Distribution of masks and soap bars to 5 villages - Sankri, Sirga, Taluka, Saud and Dhatmir
  2. Identify the ones very badly affected by the closure of tourism in this chirpy and lively valley. We list about 40 people.
  3. Monetary Demands: ~ Rs. 20000/- 
  4. Status: Complete

 

Phase 2:

  1. Clean the trekking trails of Har Ki Dun, Kedarkantha, Maninda Tal, Jaundhar Glacier, and Ruinsara Tal.
  2. This would generate about 7 days of workload for about 20 - 25 people. We can distribute about 3 - 4 days of work for about 40 people.
  3. Apart from their wages, we would provide all whom we employ with support ration to compliment whatever they get from the Government. This support ration kit would include Cooking Oil, Masalas, Salt, Soya Beans, etc worth @ Rs. 500 each.
  4. Distribute Masks and Soap bars in the villages of Puani Garad, Gangaad, and Osla
  5. Stitch these masks locally, not just to save cost, but also generate local employment
  6. Run deep awareness campaign in these added villages of Puani Garad, Gangaad, and Osla
  7. Fix posters about Covid19 awareness in-around the villages and local markets
  8. Monetary Demands: ~Rs. 120000/-
  9. Status: WIP

 

Phase 3: 

  • Replicate phase 2 to other adjacent villages like Dhara, Jakhol, Kasla, Sauni, Saturi, Kotgaon, etc. and also to other trek routes in Green or Orange zones
  • Monetary Demands: ~Rs. 120000/- - Rs. 2,50,000/- depending upon the trek route and list of needy people in those villages
  • Status: Will evaluate after completion of Phase 2 and donations received

 

 

Financial Demands and How We Plan To Meet it:

We are dependent upon donations from our past trekkers and other friends in the community to meet the financial demands. The task and monetary demand are humongous if we are to replicate the services to other trek routes in the Himalayas. We cannot meet the demands with just our past trekkers and friends. We need the community to stand for it and reach out to Friends-Of-Friends as well.

 

 

 

 

Task Updates | What We Did Till Date

  • Early March: Covid-19 Pandemic situation becomes serious and we were accessing cancellation of scheduled treks.
  • March 22: Janta Curfew announced and Nation comes to complete lockdown by March 24th. We cancel all our trek batches.
  • April 1st week: Team Himalayan High understands the seriousness of Covid19 much better and realizes they need to raise awareness about Covid-19 among villagers too.
  • April 2nd Week: We started to procure  masks and soaps for distribution in 5 villages of Sankri, Saud, Taluka, Sirga, and Dhatmir. It proved to be very difficult in situations of complete lockdown. 
  • April 23: Finally, after lots of hindrances, 1000 Masks and 500 soaps reach Sankri, Uttarakhand amid lockdown.
  • April 24-May 1: Our team in Sankri distributes face masks and soaps the 5 villages as planned and runs a thorough awareness campaign about Covid19 and precautionary measures like hand-hygiene, Social Distancing, and overall cleanliness.
  • May 5: After the successful execution of Phase1, our eyes open deeper and we understand the need to help villagers who lost employment due to zero tourism activity. We plan to create employment opportunities and in return wanted to clean the trekking trails of the heavily trekked Kedarkantha and Har Ki Dun route. We also realize we can't do it with our own capacity being a very small business ourselves and no revenue at all.
  • May 6: We started the donation drive from our past clients and trekker friends. We finalize a specific plan for the Phase 2 execution. 3 more villages of Puoni, Gangdad, and Osla are included in the plan to raise awareness and mask and soap distribution along with cleaning of the Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, Maninda Tal, Jaundhar Glacier, Ruinsara trails.
  • May 8: Instead of purchasing face masks from outside, we decided to engage tailors from these same villages to stitch masks locally. This will generate some additional employment.
  • May 15-16: Raw material has been procured for locally producing another 1000 masks. Masks are being stitched at two different villages in a batch of 500 each. All 1000 masks will be ready by May 20 latest.
  • May 21: New stock of 1000 face masks and 500 soaps is ready in Sankri to be distributed in 4 villages along with the awareness campaign.

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