Sustainable Development in Northern India
I have been an EduCare/ConservEN intern since three months back, and I am living in the Dholbaha Vikas Centre, in Punjab. Upon arrival I first had a month of induction about the organization’s activities and ideals in Himachal Pradesh, where there are other three Vikas Centr. I was placed in Naddi, the EduCare headquarters in the Himalayas, near the town where the Dalahi Lama’s temple is.
On clear days here in Dholbaha, sitting on a hill in front of a little lake surrounded by a subtropical forest, you can sight the Himalayas. But the climate is totally different: hotter and less crowded. I am living with two other interns in a wide rural area where people are genuine and hospitable, the fresh milk is exquisite, and the time flows slowly.
I have recently start a kitchen garden in the backyard of the intern house. Before planting seeds, it would be better to fertilize the soil and so I am preparing various rivets where the earth is mixed with cow manure and then covered by grass. These two lines you can see on the picture are the first. In the future there will be more as there is a lot of space available for cultivating vegetables and fruit trees, and enough water to sustain them.
In the meantime, together with Mandy, an American specialized in environmental and educational issues, and Adrien, from France, an expert in microfinance and biogas (as well as in manual labors), we are building an area with bricks and cement where we will store kitchen waste and transform it into fertile compost by applying vermiculture techniques. In the picture you can see it: we are working hard to make it efficient and upright, but however it looks, I am really enjoying this kind of work. Before coming here, I had never touched cement and now I play with it like a child in the sand.
Staying here, I am learning new skills through experiences, both success and failure, and also coming into contact with local people who are generous and helpful. Here we have a true community who welcomes us and we must always respect their traditions and culture by following a code of conduct.
Apart from these activies, my role here is to be a WildLife Project Manager. I am the first intern who is engaged in this working area and I have recently wrote a project proposal that, by my intentions, could be a good platform for further projects. It is simple academic research which intends to illustrate in a unassuming and exhaustive way the characteristics of natural areas nearby Dholbaha. It should be published on-line in order to increase awareness towards these wildlife areas, as well as eco-tourism. I have proposed this also because Educare India is linked with different Universities and collaborating with them could create a lot of opportunity for our organization.
I will discuss soon about my project proposal with the Project Director of EduCare, Mr. B. I look forward to finishing the planning stages of my project and its actual launch! Keep in touch ^_^