Our ambition to include women in our projects has been a long and uphill battle. In many parts of rural India, women aren’t given the same social status or respect they rightfully deserve. However, we have been persistent in our efforts to involve women in our movement because no society can truly reform itself until it doesn't empower its women. Here are a few ways in which we’re leading this change.
Women empowerment in the HimalayasEnquire
Women’s Micro Entreprise - Himalayan Eco-creation
After many meetings, discussions and training sessions we were able to form a small team of women from Gushaini and the surrounding villages to start a microenterprise.
The intention was to encourage their entrepreneurial spirit, give them the scope to use their capacities and help them earn an alternative source of income, particularly since most families in the region were adversely affected by the onset of the pandemic.
We have tried to keep reworking our model to have flexible working hours and days, encourage traditional handicraft skills and design a system that would let them contribute and work from their homes and fields according to their convenience to maximize the participation of women in the project.
While in Gushaini, the women work out of our workshop adjacent to the office which is well-equipped with all the equipment and ingredients necessary for making the products.
Under Himalayan Eco-creations, we produce a range of 100% natural cosmetics like sunscreen, lip balms, handmade soaps, etc. We are working on designing a more efficient line of production for our handicraft and local food products.
Women in conservation
We’d like to specially mention Mr. Vinay Tandon’s efforts in motivating us to mobilize women in our conservation efforts. It was during one of our discussions with him that we got the insight of how women have a wonderful capacity to bring people together, understand the value of our environment and are such wonderful nurturers by nature. We realized at that moment that women must be a part of our conservation initiative.
Under our reforestation program, there is a commitment to care for the trees for the next twenty years. Women play a primary role in mobilizing the community, organizing plants procured from the forest nursery and caring for the new saplings. These jobs also act as an additional source of income for them.
Women as trekking guides
Women in the Tirthan Valley trek up difficult slopes with their flock, navigate tricky terrain and carry heavy loads across distances routinely.
Their inherent knowledge of the region makes them great trek leaders and guides.
Women from these villages join us on a number of treks through the year and share good knowledge about management and equipment handling.
They’ve also made some wonderful memories with our guests who join us from all parts of the world.
Women at the forefront of Child Development and Education
A few women from the villages of Pekhri and Bhiyar who had an inclination for teaching have been trained under experienced educationalists to join as teachers in their respective schools.
They are our salaried employees who introduce interactive, effective teaching methods to teach the children coming to these schools.
We’ve received an encouraging response from parents and students alike since we started in 2018. They are helped by our many education interns in designing progressive and engaging teaching methods but the teachers continue to be the constant link and have developed a strong rapport with the students.
With the upcoming Library and Supplementary Education project coming up in Gushaini, we are positive about training and provide employment to local teachers and extend our outreach in the region.
Video about our women empowerment program
Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism
Himalayan Ecotourism is the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019. We are also the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
On the international scene, we have been declared winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 by Skal International and Biosphere.
Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to protect the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !