+91-9816-091-093
Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP
About Himalayan Ecotourism

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Participate in a social enterprise

Himalayan Ecotourism works with volunteers, interns and researchers.
The Himalayas is an extremely fascinating but fragile place. Long-term welfare of the local villagers and conservation of the natural resources are serious issues. Working for the promotion of a sustainable development with the participation of local communities while developing ecotourism activities is an exciting opportunity to familiarize our interns with the concept of social enterprise.

Our volunteers and interns are typically involved in two domains of actions.
On the "social" aspect : education of local kids, women empowerment, development of green technologies, capacity building and awareness raising campaign.
On the "enterprise" aspect : improving the skills of our cooperative members, marketing, social media, management, etc.


Internship program 2019

Volunteers, interns and researchers can apply for intership at Himalayan Ecotourism.
The 2019 program includes :


Enhancing learning, awareness level and skills development of school kids

The teaching in the local schools is of an extremely poor level. The kids are brainwashed with theory and doctrine which they seem to remember/record for the next exam but not to understand. Their awareness level is equally low and they virtually develop no skills at school.

In 2018 we started approaching the school kids to talk and raise their awareness about the issue of intentional forest fires in the area. The response of the kids and the teachers was quite encouraging. It seems that working with the children has a much better response and impact compared to working with adults who are quite resistant to changes. And so, we decided to work in schools, with the kids and their teachers.

Two schools have been selected to become our “model schools”. We introduce innovative methods of teachings in these two schools. The children are brought into new learning processes thanks to which their learning of the conventional subjects are eased, their awareness level raise and their basic/soft skills are developed.

Our first step is to make the teaching of the conventional subjects more pleasant and hence more efficient. Efficiency translates into saving school time, time that we can use for approaching unconventional subjects. The concept will be gradually developed based on the results and feedback from the kids and teachers.

We have started with the following objectives :

Easing the learning of conventional subjects
  Innovative teaching methods are performed in the schools and taught to the teachers.
  The children should develop a taste for learning in a less academic style, in a more experiential and playful way, and having a better understanding of how the acquired knowledge could be applied in their future life.

Raising awareness
  Ecological awareness (forest fires, water management, basic of ecology, climate changes, waste management)
  Health and nutrition. How better nutrition can lead to better health ? How to grow food organically?
  Local geography and history.
  Comparative studies of the local and global culture.
  Basics of politics and democracy.

Skill development
  Personality development - Allowing the children to find their own strengths and talents.
  Arts and creativity
  Logic and problem solving
  Sense of practicality in general
  Other skills that are useful in the context of the local village life

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Surveying the kids, the family and the teachers to identify and understand better the shortcomings of the present system.
  Preparing teaching materials in collaboration with our local staff and the teachers.
  Organizing teaching sessions in the two selected schools based on innovative methods.
  Capacity building of our local staff and teachers.
  Documenting the entire process to allow the enrichment of our locally appropriate teaching innovations.
  In case the interns can afford a multi-months stay they should attend classes on a regular basis.


Raising awareness about forest fires and the need of conservation

The greedy and lazy nature of humankind is no exception in the area around the Great Himalayan National Park. Lush Himalayan forests are being burned, intentionally, by some of the locals to enhance their cash income or to ease their labour.

Since 2016 Himalayan Ecotourism organizes campaigns to raise awareness of the locals about the adverse impact of these intentional and widespread forest fires. This will be an everlasting effort until this practice would be completely dropped. Posters and informative road signs are put up, discussions are organized in the villages, and the children are approached and educated about the issue in their schools.

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Putting posters up in the villages and other strategic places.
  Encouraging discussions in the visited places, organizing the villagers for fighting against forest fires.
  Helping our local staff to make good presentations in the local schools for educating and mobilizing the children.


Contributing to the improvement of the administration of the Cooperative society

The GHNP Community-based Ecotourism Cooperative Society is a beautiful movement that happened within the community living in the ecozone of the GHNP in the year 2014.

During the establishment of the society and during the first years of existence the leaders and even simple members of the society had to face opposition and sometime even intimidations from the local administration and some debased businessmen.
Very fortunately the movement could withstand all these and the cooperative appears to be now a successful grassroot organization. Successful? Not yet fully …

The spirit of a cooperative has to be clarified and shown to all the 65 members so that they can support each other better, and get themselves heard with one voice. This will require a patient social effort.
Our interns can help in this regards.

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Assess the opinion of the cooperative members about their society.
  Help the board members to be more systematic and to organize regular meetings with proper reporting (minutes of meeting).
  Help in publishing the Himalayan Ecotourism newsletters.
  Help in making the financial system more transparent and in increasing the visibility of money flow to all the members.


Tree plantation project in Nohanda Panchayat

At the end of 2018, during the last meeting of the year, our cooperative decided to start a reforestation project along the trail of the Rangthar trek.

The trail, that is in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park, goes through an area which is badly deforested. The same area suffers every year from intentional forest fires, in such a way that natural regeneration is prevented. The absence of forest makes the life of the local villagers challenging. Difficulty to get fuelwood, the intense summer heat, the erosion of the soils associated with water scarcity are the main consequences faced by the villagers.

A nursery will be set up near the trekking trail. The saplings will be grown at the nursery before being transplanted along the trail. Each tree will be protected from the grazing animals and from the forest fires. This will require a good amount of efforts and management. Our interns can help on this project.

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Helping in management of the nursery and plantation processes.
  Promoting our crowdfunding campaign for the pproject.
  Encouraging the participation of more cooperative members.


Marketing of local products made by women

In the previous years, value-added products have been developed by Himalayan Ecotourism with the help of interns. The aim was to offer an extra source of income to local underprivileged women. A couple of women have been selected and then trained to making of these products. We initiated the sales of the products by selling to the tourists visiting the Tirthan valley and the Great Himalayan National Park.

The production and sales could not be sustained because no women staff of Himalayan Ecotourism were dedicated to the project, and the workshop was too far from the villages of the selected women. The conditions were not optimal for the continuity of the program.

We have a plan to start again the production and sales on fresh basis.
Two women staff of Himalayan Ecotourism are working on the project, the workshop has been moved to a village where a few women will be trained, the workshop is located just beside our facilities for the stay of our interns.

We plan to sell to the tourists again, but we would like to start online sales as well to enable selling throughout the year.

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Finalizing the range of products
  Improving the branding / packaging
  Training the women to a systematic way of production and quality control
  Launching the online sales (choice of platforms)


Promoting natural and zero budget farming

Like in most of the places in rural India the local farmers have been trapped into the modern system of farming with the Green revolution. The villagers have adopted a farming logic that makes them dependent on the corporate and the market forces.

To an alarming extend they have lost their capacity to cultivate without seeds and pesticides from the market. Not only a consistent part of the farmers’ income goes straight to the corporate, but indigenous crop are being abandoned and their farming practices are dangerous for their health, the local ecology and the consumers of their products.

A model kitchen garden has been set up just beside the building where our interns and volunteers stay. The objective is to demonstrate to the villagers that they can grow quality fruits and vegetables without chemicals and without spending their money.

We also plan to set up a seed bank in the villages around to promote the local seeds and avoid dependence on seeds from market.

Work of the interns/volunteers :

  Growing various vegetables in the kitchen garden, testing biopesticide and natural fertilizers.
  Approaching the women for explaining them the concept of seed bank and help them to set up their own.
  Educate the local women about the benefit of having a good nutrition for the entire family.
  Documentation.




Photos of internship at Himalayan Ecotourism

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Accommodation

This is the building where our interns stay.

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The village

This is village where we stay, just front of the GHNP.

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In the room

One room is for the women and the other one for the men.

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Brainstorming

We spend some a good amount of time interacting and learning from each other.

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In school

One of our local women staff gains communication skills with Sujoy.

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Stop Forest Fires

Getting ready with all the material before field work.

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On the field

At the end of a meeting with women in a village.

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Organic farming

Interns promoting innovative practices for organic farming.

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Awareness campaign

On field work to spread the word about the forest fires issue.

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Placing posters

Interacting with the local villagers is an important part of the work.

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Forest fires

Extinguishing the flames of a forest fire teaches a lesson to anyone.

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Last day

On the last day of Devanshi's internship. With Keshav, our president !




List of interns, volunteers and researchers per year


Name Details
Nolwenn Lyonnet

Intern
Tourism Department – UFR Temps et Territoires - Université Lyon 2 – France
Developing new ecotourism products near the Great Himalayan National Park. Revamping the French website of Himalayan Ecotourism. Capacity building of a young local woman for working as office assistant.

Athul K. V.

Intern
MBA in Tourism - Pondicherry University
Helping raising awareness of the locals about the adverse impacts of forest fires. Working of social media marketing for HET.

Kiran Varghese

Intern
MBA in Tourism - Pondicherry University
Helping raising awareness of the locals about the adverse impacts of forest fires. Working of social media marketing for HET.

Akshit Awasthi

Intern
BA in Tourism Administration - Amity University, Noida
Helping raising awareness of the locals about the adverse impacts of forest fires. Working of social media marketing for HET.

Tanya Issar

Intern
MA in Sustainable Development Practice - TERI School of Advanced Studies, Delhi
Developing the documentation and media content for approaching school kids and raise their awareness about the adverse impacts of forest fires. Helping in building the capacity of a young woman to teach the kids about the same issue.

Vaibhaw Kumar

Intern
BA in Sociology and Anthropology - Ashoka University
Making of a short video for our Stop Forest Fires campaign. Helping raising awareness of the locals about the adverse impacts of forest fires.

Sujoy Desai

Intern
BA in Political Sciences – Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune
Converting our “Stop Forest Fires” message to the local community into a pamphlet for school children. Identifying an Indian music band to record and perform our “Stop Forest Fires” song. Training of a local woman to do the “Stop Forest Fires” presentation for school children.

Name Details
Sachit Gangla

Intern
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur
Surveying the villagers around the Great Himalayan National Park to understand how Himalayan Ecotourism team could approach them for reducing intentional forest fires.

Pal chandra

Intern
Tourism studies, Pondicherry Central University
Research work about the cooperative model of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Anuja Joshi

Volunteer
Engineer, Kanpur
Assisting the work at the Life Lovers' café and promotion of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Kiran Kanthavar

Volunteer
MBA graduate, XLRI Jamshedpur
Prospecting the best business development of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Shouvik Bisai

Intern
Symbiosis, Pune
Developing mass communication tools for raising awareness of the local villagers about destructive forest fires.

Name Details
Jayesh Bagada

Volunteer
Engineer in electronics
Developing a thermoelectric module for the advanced stove. Making of stove prototypes. Launching a crowdfunding campaign.

Zoé Hüttenhain

Volunteer
Video making about the advanced stove. Launching a crowdfunding campaign. Translation of the website of Himalayan Ecotourism in German

Thomas Paul

Intern
TISS, Mumbai
Mobilizing the community (especially the women folk) of the ecozone around the Symbioz (Green Technologies) project. Assessing the level of awareness about the impacts of the use their natural resources on the local and global environment.

Florian Saas

Intern
Agrocampus, Angers, France
Development of a biopesticide for various cash crop in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park. Advising the steps to be taken for the improvement of the ecology of an habitat for the Cheer pheasant in the ecozone.

Name Details
Poonam Shukla

Fellow at Teach For India
Worked towards creating a women Self Help Group in the villages and provide them training in soap, balm and bag making in the GHNP region in order to establish a self sustainable model to empower the community.

Shikha Bohra

Volunteer
Fellow at Teach For India
Worked towards creating a women Self Help Group in the villages and provide them training in soap, balm and bag making in the GHNP region in order to establish a self sustainable model to empower the community.

Saumya Jain

Intern
M.Sc. Environment Management and Sustainable Development, Delhi University
Research on forest fire in the ecozone of Great Himalayan National Park, and participation in the formation of women SHGs and in strengthening of the existing SHGs in some villages.

Neha Makol

Intern
M.Sc. Environment Management and Sustainable Development, Delhi University
Research on forest fire in the ecozone of Great Himalayan National Park, and participation in the formation of women SHGs and in strengthening of the existing SHGs in some villages.

Arka Banerjee

Intern
Economics Undergraduate at Presidency University, Kolkata
Creating business structures and marketing plan for Himalayan Ecotourism and Himalayan Eco-creation. Women empowerment for setting up their micro-enterprise.

Shuchi Tripathi

Intern
Economics Undergraduate at Presidency University, Kolkata
Creating business structures and marketing plan for Himalayan Ecotourism and Himalayan Eco-creation. Women empowerment for setting up their micro-enterprise.

Shrija Dasgupta

Intern
Economics Undergraduate at Presidency University, Kolkata
Creating business structures and marketing plan for Himalayan Ecotourism and Himalayan Eco-creation. Women empowerment for setting up their micro-enterprise.

Arindam Chakraborty

Intern
Economics Undergraduate at Presidency University, Kolkata
Creating business structures and marketing plan for Himalayan Ecotourism and Himalayan Eco-creation. Women empowerment for setting up their micro-enterprise.

Vincent Martin

Intern
Sciences Po Grenoble
Organizing winter trek in the ecozone of the GHNP. Making of local-made snowshoes. Making of the first prototype of the advanced wood stove. Writing articles for a new blog. Developing ideas to devise a waste management project.

Killian Boiron

Intern
Alliance Sciences & Business, Program IDEA, Lyon, France
Research and development work for the advanced stove project.

Yohan Hecquet

Intern
Alliance Sciences & Business, Program IDEA, Lyon, France
Research and development work for the advanced stove project.

Tryphena Duddley

Volunteer
Chennai
Mobilizing women from villages in the ecozone of the GHNP to form Self-Help Group and launch their micro-enterprise.

Agathe Toutin

Intern
Paris, France
Making of a biogas unit and training women for making a simple biopesticide

Decayeux Emma

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Making of a biogas unit and training women for making a simple biopesticide

Mandausch Pauline

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Making of a biogas unit and training women for making a simple biopesticide

Léa Pillet

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Making of a biogas unit and training women for making a simple biopesticide

Gwenaëlle Detour

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Making of a biogas unit and training women for making a simple biopesticide

Nikhil Parihar

Volunteer
Video maker, Kolkata
Making of a video about the work of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Name Details
Devanshi Laddha

Intern
Indian Institute of Management, Indore
Development of the capacities of the members of the cooperative to the management.

Hasrat Grewal

Volunteer
She has assisted our efforts to form the cooperative.

Venkatesh Hippalgaonkar

Intern
Information Technology GITAM University,Vishakapatnam
Updating the web site http://himalayanecotourism.com/

Noyonika Bose

Intern
Presidency University,Kolkata
Participation in a study on the income of the villagers of the ecozone of the GHNP.

Priya Krishnamoorthy

Volunteer
Tata Consultancy Services , Chennai
Development of the strategy of "marketing" of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Juliette Pouradier

Intern
Jean Monnet, Vic In Bigorre, France
Study of issues related to the income of the villagers of the ecozone of the GHNP and the consequences of the establishment of the national park.

Priyanka Sheoran

Researcher
Ambedkar University, Delhi
Socio-economic study in the village of Karongcha.

Jonas Moses

Volunteer
Science Po, Paris, France
Management and accounting of the cooperative.

Mathilde Armand

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Training of women of the village Pekhri to the production of felted wool and jams.

Julie Fleuet

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Training of women of the village Pekhri to the production of felted wool and jams.

Damien Lesage

Intern
ISTOM, Paris, France
Training of women of the village Pekhri to the production of felted wool and jams.

Manu Vikrant

Volunteer
Chandigarh
Teaching of English to members of the cooperative.

Lani Jones

Volunteer
California, US
Business development and marketing.

Mathilde Halleux

Volunteer
Belgium
She has attended Lani in its efforts in the promotion of Himalayan Ecotourism.



Thanks a lot for writing the Himalayan Ecotourism story with us !