Shrikhand Kailash Yatra, Clean Drive initiated by an NGO

Aug 25, 2016 21:16 | Feature & Viewpoint
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Event organised by Healing Himalayas Foundation

Shrikhand Mahadev Kailash Yatra is one of the five most important Kailash Yatra in the world. The trek is one of the toughest and full of difficult terrains and that is the reason it is considered as one of the toughest pilgrimages in India at an altitude of 18570 Feet / 5660 metres above the sea level. Every year thousands of Lord Shiva devotees participate in this yatra between the scheduled dates as per the suitable weather conditions. This year Healing Himalayas Foundation team along with Tso La Adventures performed recce of Shrikhand Mahadev trail in the month of July to understand the condition of garbage disposal during the yatra. Major camping sites such as Barati Naala, Thachru, Bheemdwari and Nainsarovar were full of garbage that majorly included plastic bottles, wrappers, disposed clothes, shoes, umbrellas by the pilgrims. The team was surprised to find the area surrounding the Khand to be full of plastic garbages.

 

Based on the recce, Healing Himalayas Foundation organised an event “Shrikhand Kailash Yatra Clean Drive” on August 18. Total eleven people left for the yatra; Pradeep Sangwan, the President of HHF, Sunil Negi from Kinnaur, Sonia Chauhan, an active contributor for NGO from Shimla, Kanav Sharma from Manali and Paramvir Singh from Moga who volunteered for the clean drive along with two well-experienced trekkers of TsoLa Adventures, Rajiv Mathas and Prashant Negi. The seven members were assisted by four Gurkhas who assisted in cooking and other tasks as the yatra is officially closed and the team was last to visit the location. The team majorly emphasised on picking plastic wrappers and plastic bottles from the main locations such as Barati Naala, Nainsarovar and from the top. The garbage collected from the top was carried back to the second base camp at Bheemdawar on August 22 and the team carried 11 sacks of collected garbage from Bheemdawar to Rampur Bushahar on August 23rd and dumped in the city's major dumping sites.

 

President of HHF, Pradeep Sangwan said that it is sad to see that the place where thousands of people visit to seek blessings is left with abundance of trash and garbage which has resulted into the natural imbalance. Compared to previous year, the glaciers are all melted and there are only small patches of snow at the top as well. He also added that it is very difficult to clean the entire trail in such short duration. After the event, the organisation would focus on spreading the awareness among the villagers and will speak to panchayat pradhan to ask people who put up their stalls in Shrikhand Mahadev during the yatra to collect the garbage and keep at certain locations from where the HFF team would collect the garbage and will take the responsibility of disposing it off right after the yatra closes for the year.

 

The event was successfully executed and the entire team was able to reach the top, cleaned the targeted locations after battling with bad weather conditions. Healing Himalayas Foundation has started its functioning from May 2016 and has been actively working for last four months. NGO started with three projects in Manali which included cleaning of Sethan village, Hamta Pass and famous Hadimba temple area in the month of May and June. The aim is to share the responsibility with people to understand the importance of nature and the clean environment for coming years and coming generation.

 

Garbage is one of the most challenging factor that pollutes the environment everywhere. Garbage on foothills are being dumped for ages but attention of the society has been drawn recently towards garbage on the mountains, specially Himalayas.Our projects are focused on conducting activities and clean up of the mess that has been accumulated on all the places primarily the Foothills of Himalayas. HFF organise special activities, mass clean-ups and events in the community and schools to create the awareness level of the society towards restoring the environment. The organisationaims to maintain the cleanliness in the foothills of Himalayas, to develop comprehensive and holistic waste management programs that helps to protect people, roaming animals, and the environment from toxic materials generated by plastic and general waste.To mobilise support from mountaineers, trekker, alpine clubs, adventure tour operators and Himalayan region governments, to protect the Himalayan environment, its flora and fauna and natural resources as well as protect the customs and interests of the local people.