Monday, December 31, 2007

Pauri Garhwal Group Team, Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal- Wishes You All - A Very Happy New Year 2008..!!


We are sending you the warmest wishes filled with joy, laughter, love, peace, happiness and lots of new year resolutions & achievements this holiday season and throughout the coming New Year 2008.

Happy New Year -- 2008.

PGG Team/ New Delhi
Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli Garhwal,
Garhwali, Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal,
Kumaon, Kumaoni, All Great Uttarakhandis.
New Delhi / Happy New Year 2008

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gharwal / Garhwali Cuisine

Garhwali / Garhwal Cuisine of Uttarakhand

The term uttarakhand cuisine is used to denote cuisine from both kumaon and garhwal regions of uttarakhand. The traditional uttarakhand cuisine is highly nutritious, easy to prepare.

If you wanna know about the Garhwali Cuisine, Uttarakhand, please visit Pauri Garhwal Group's website :

Thanks for visiting this blog of Pauri Garhwal Group of Uttarakhand Uttaranchal Pauri Garhwal Chamoli Garhwal Tehri Garhwal Kumaon Garhwali Kumaoni


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Deep in Drudgery: Women and Health in Uttarakhand..!!

Source Posted by ANON

The consequences of the ever-increasing workload of hill women can be directly witnessed in their declining health status. They tend to suffer in isolation and become accustomed to several of their physical complications. But, on unlocking their silence, immense ordeal regarding their health conditions is revealed, in addition to the mental affliction they have been undergoing timidly. In Uttarakhand, women of varied ages undertake severe physical work in the coarse environment of the mountains. Besides, the cultural conditions have created a biased ambience, which has made women to fail to realize their basic rights.In spite of undertaking hard physical work, a hill woman’s intake of food is always low and less nutritious. The food intake is never balanced to her energy spent on daily activities. Anaemic cases in the hills are found at every other step. Stressful work has also led to muscle pain, back pain, foot pain etc and has severely affected their reproductive health (this will be discussed later). The specific health risks occurring due to women-related work include respiratory problems due to long hours spent indoors on cooking with fuel wood; sore and pain in the hips, shoulders and legs for carrying heavy loads of fodder and water; and bearing infections while working at unclean cowsheds – the tradition of girls sleeping in cowsheds during menstruation is commonly found in the hills.Examining the social aspects of women’s drudgery, the situation is found to be far worse from the mental health perspective. Traditionally, women are denied their basic rights and freedom. Special cultural practices such as women washing the feet of the family elders every night overburden them with more work. The issue of violence against women is vastly spread over the hills and the terai region. The most common factor found in all cases of women abuse is liquor and for this reason, women generally identify liquor as their deadly enemy spoiling their family peace and devouring the household economy. Submissive women are beaten up and harassed by dominant alcoholic husbands. Besides, such beatings are regular and, at times, criminally violent. A woman, who has spent all day in undertaking strenuous tasks, indoor as well as outdoor, is mercilessly battered at night. She barely succeeds in protecting her small children from the husband’s abuse, facing damaging consequences on her physical and mental health. Mental stress during times of reproductive period has its irreparable impact on infants and may lead to mortality or psychological setback in later years.Village women have explained the disastrous effects of liquor taking over them and their subsistence economy. The country-made liquor made of chemicals, sugar lumps, toxicants and dirty water of open streams directly harms the health of the person who uses it. Men usually resort to drinking because of personal socio-economic problems and become addicts. They start spending their limited earnings on buying liquor. The household economy falls down and women are burdened with the task of earning income for the survival of their children and themselves. Prevalence of tuberculosis, liver problems and stomach ailments reduce the working capacity of men. The economic situation deteriorates with increased borrowings and landlessness; all taken away by liquor.In the hills and the terai region, girls are married at an age between 14-18 years because people believe in the traditional thinking that a girl’s real home is with her husband and not with her parents; so she is married off as early as possible and sent away to her husband. But the serious impact causing on the reproductive health of these girls is hardly estimated or known. These girls are expected to bear children from the age of 17-18 years onwards to the detriment of putting both mother and child at the threshold of morbidity. The RCH (Reproductive and Child Health) programmes of the government are still lacking behind with elements of quality and outreach. ANMs’ (Auxilliary Nurse Midwives) inaccessibility to remote villages and community’s low awareness on RCH-related issues have denied a greater number of women with the facility to undergo ante-natal care. Anaemia cases have shown no reduction in spite of good distribution of IFA (Iron and Folic) tablets. Village women have a tendency to either throw away these tablets or leave them behind at the subcentre due to dubious reasons that these tablets cause giddiness or headache. The lack of awareness and low-level of information are visible reasons for entertaining such kinds of beliefs. The ANMs’ lack of motivation and poor knowledge dissemination during distribution is responsible for poor information resources of the community.The sweeping number of non-institutional deliveries in Uttarakhand is a compelling issue to be addressed. More than 80% of deliveries are conducted by untrained dais (local name for Traditional Birth Attendants) following age-old methods and practices of labour. The research study has shown that this act is steeped in ignorance, misinformation and superstition and has led to the occurrence of several reproductive health complications including maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. The untrained dais undertake deliveries amidst unhygienic surroundings. The method of forcefully pulling the child out of the womb has made the women suffer from prolapse. Dais are always incapable of handling high-risk deliveries in villages and, during such helpless times, suggest taking the pregnant woman to hospital. Most of the maternal and infant deaths in the hills take place while they are being transported to hospital during delivery times; the distance and inaccessibility issues again emerging at such points. In order to reduce the high infant mortality cases, it is important to address the issue of non-institutional deliveries in a holistic manner.Child immunization practices were found to be low during research. Women usually avoid taking their children to immunization camps or subcentres either because of lack of awareness, no availability of time due to heavy workload, long and inaccessible distance and cultivating of false notions that immunization is harmful to children. Huge drop-outs are seen in rural areas and the maintenance of immunization cards is a mere act of formality, rather than signifying facts on immunization status.Colustrum feeding in the hills is quite low and out of practice. Again, complete absence of post-natal services and prevalence of superstition prevent mothers in providing first milk to infants because “it is dirty and not good to the new born.” Traditional practices such as nobody should take anything eatable offered by a woman soon after delivery is profoundly set in the minds of both men and women.Adoption of family planning methods is mostly done by women. The data in the hills on female sterilisation is high. Men avoid using condoms as they are usually under the influence of alcohol during acts of sex. They do not take up sterilisation because of the prevailing myth that “men work harder and they should not be asked to undergo vasectomy.” This is, though, contradictory to the entire hill scenario, but these very words of assumption have come straight out of women. They think it is justified if men do not follow family planning principles and women bear the burden of it as well. Use of oral pills is low because women believe that they cause headaches. IUD insertion is avoided because there is no follow-up care given at government health centres.Women in the hills have a propensity to take up work within 10-12 days after giving birth to a child. This is just another reason for women suffering from prolapse and other reproductive health problems. The prolapse of uterus is so widespread among women that it can be said that it is one of the major causes for their poor confidence-levels and constant mental stress. This problem keeps interfering with their daily work and it discourages them from going out of the village or being in front of men. Some women hardly know what it is although they complain that “something keeps coming out of the vagina” while they walk or work.They adopt the habit of stopping for a while and putting it back, rather than consulting someone on this due to the fear of facing embarrassment. They fail to seek treatment on this either because there is no lady doctor at the PHC (Primary Health Centre) or the cost of it at a private clinic is very high.The ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) is hopeless in this matter as she just refers the patient. “We are afraid to go out of the village, so how can we go to hospital. And, by the way, there is no lady doctor at there to look into our problem,” says a woman suffering and representing this problem.Prevalence of reproductive and sexual infections is largely seen in women. This is not only because biologically they are more susceptible to the infections, but also because they do not follow hygienic practices during menstruation. They fail to consult to the doctor at the first stage of the disease and, thus, give way to more complications. High chances of contracting HIV exist when their migrated husbands return back home carrying infections. The socio-cultural norms do not allow them to spend the household economy for their treatment, as a woman’s illness is not a matter of serious concern. Women also end up in hiding these problems and thereby, husbands and in-laws remain insensitive to these severe complications and their consequences.

PG Group!



The Rural Development Interventions in Uttarakhand..

BY : ANON. Ever since the formation of Uttaranchal, developmental interventions at a substantial scale are being carried out, mostly in specialized sectors. The infancy phase of the state, the social and economic marginality of the community living in this mountainous region and the government’s strong livelihood promotion policies have drawn considerable investments from bilateral, multi-lateral and ministerial agencies for improving the socio-economic and cultural well-being of the communities. The state has been receiving ample amount of loans from the World Bank in developing specific sectors such as agriculture, water and sanitation, watershed, health and education. Bilateral agencies like USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) have even prioritized the state of Uttaranchal in their list of focal states for providing development funding. The Delegation of the European Union represented by the European Commission has been supporting programmes in watershed development and, recently, in health sector reforms. UN agencies such as WFP (World Food Programme) and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) have collaborated with the Department of Women Empowerment and Child Welfare and Disaster Management Unit of the Government of Uttaranchal respectively.The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched welfare schemes and programmes such as the Swa-Shakti Programme, Rastriya Mahila Kosh and Swamyasiddha, which are functioning either independently or jointly with state government and NGOs and promoting one or all aspects of livelihood development in Uttaranchal.At the state-level, various units of the state government are also involved in implementing livelihood promotion programmes. The Rural Development Department is at the forefront in putting into operation Central Government Schemes such as the SGSY (Swarnjayanti Gramin Swarozgar Yojana), which has been funding micro-enterprise initiatives (mushroom production, wool production, handicrafts, poultry, medicinal plants etc) of the rural community. The Department has lead banks in almost all the districts to help the community access credit and it has also collaborated with the National Life Insurance Company and Oriental Insurance Company to provide micro-insurance services to marginal farmers. Other programmes of the Department include: Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), Indira Awaas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana- Gramin Awaas, Credit-cum-Subsidy, Unnat Chulha, Biogas, Drought Prone Area Program (DPAP), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP). The Department also leads state sponsored schemes such as Vidhayak Nidhi, Sansad Nidhi and Community Development Programme. Some of these programmes are implemented in selected districts and some others on experimental basis. The Department has also instituted training centres to organize capacity building programmes for rural communities. At present, there are: 1 State Institute for Rural Development at state-level, 5 Regional Institutes for Rural Development and 3 District Institutes for Rural Development.In the Cooperative Sector, Uttaranchal has a State Cooperative Bank as an apex institution in the state, following District Cooperative Banks at district-level and at the village-level, smaller units called PACS (Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies). Other cooperative institutions include the Uttaranchal State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited and the Uttaranchal Cooperative Sericulture Federation Limited. The Cooperative Department coordinates projects such as the Sahakari Rrun avam Adhikoshan Yojana, Sahakari Krya-Vikraya Yojana, Sahkari Upabhokta Yojana etc. The state has about 763 PACS and 103 Primary Consumer Cooperative Societies. There is also the Institute of Cooperative Management, providing training and management services to cooperators. The Department has recently collaborated with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company for provision of micro-insurance services to rural farmers.The Uttaranchal Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation (SWAJAL) Project, supported by the World Bank, has begun its phase II programme covering all the thirteen districts of the state. The SWAJAL project has a focus upon delivering sustainable health and hygiene benefits to the rural populations through improvement in water supply and environmental sanitation services and promoting long-term sustainability of rural water supply and sanitation. The project has considerable focus on livelihood promotion as it emphatically focuses upon SHG mobilization, income generation, savings and thrift, women empowerment, time saving technologies and general awareness.The Agriculture Department’s Watershed Management Directorate is currently implementing the Integrated Watershed Development Project (Phase II) in all the thirteen districts of Uttaranchal with the objective of improving the productive potential of the project area, using watershed treatment technologies and community participation approaches and contributing towards decreasing soil erosion, increasing water availability and alleviating poverty. The Department is also carrying out other programmes such as the Micro-mode programme providing subsidies to rural farmers in accessing agricultural technology, seeds and pest management. Innovative programmes such as crop insurance are also being experimented in pocket areas. Financial assistance to marginal farmers is given through crop-based programmes such as Makka Vikas Programme, Dalhan Uthpadan Vikas Programme etc.The Department of Industrial Development has allotted certain schemes for rural masses such as the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) to provide financial assistance to agriculture and industries in rural areas. The Department has a specialized unit of Khadi and Village Industries with multi-disciplinary training centres in different parts of the state. These centres provide regular training to rural entrepreneurs in small industries such as woolen hosiery, embroidery, bee keeping, diamond cutting, candle making etc. The unit also runs financial assistance schemes such as interest-cum-subsidy scheme and margin money scheme in the interest of small-scale rural industrialists.Other departments such as the Horticulture and Livestock Departments have also various programmes for livelihood improvement in Uttaranchal. The State Government’s development focused activities have also led to formation of autonomous bodies, initially promoted by the government itself, on specific sectors such as organic farming, bamboo, livestock etc. The boards in place at the moment are Forest Development Board, Bamboo and Fiber, Livestock and Cattle Development, Uttaranchal Mandi Vikas Parishad and Organic Boards.The Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development is carrying out ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) programmes with the support of WFP and the World Bank to improve the nutritional security of the community. The programme is currently implemented in 40 blocks of the state and has created a force of community-based aaganwadi workers and has established 6378 aaganwadi centres to cover about 15000 habitations all over Uttaranchal. Mahila Samakhya is another major programme of this Department implemented for working towards women empowerment in the state.In the health sector, the Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare has recently established the Uttaranchal Health and Family Welfare Society (SCOVA), an autonomous organization working to carry out health sector reforms and improve the efficiency of the management systems of the health programmes. SCOVA is implementing Sector Investment Programme (SIP) of the European Commission covering Fixed Day (immunization) services, policy reforms, emergency obstetric care, Chikitsa Sudhar Samiti, drug policy and other health management-led concepts such as IEC, (Information, Education and Communication), logistics etc. It is also in the process of planning programmes focusing upon integrating SHGs with community health services and creating a large cadre of trained community health workers at hamlet-level or village-level, as the need be, all across the state.NABARD, the apex institution for rural credit is providing investment and production credit for promotion of various developmental activities in Uttaranchal. It is working towards institution building for improving capacity of the credit delivery system, including monitoring, formulation of rehabilitation schemes, restructuring of credit institutions, training of personnel, coordinating the rural financing activities, preparing rural credit plans for all districts, undertaking monitoring and evaluation of projects refinanced by it and promoting research in the fields of rural banking, agriculture and rural developmentThe Community Based Economic Development Project (CBED) is an important project implemented by NGOs (CECI, KAGAS and HSC) and funded by CIDA. The project is working to reduce poverty in 250 villages of Pithoragarh and Champawat Districts. The four-year tenure project is being implemented on pilot basis, replicating a similar model successfully experimented upon in Nepal. CBED has a focus upon promoting self-reliant institutions and has played an active part in advocating and promoting the Uttaranchal Self-Reliant Cooperative Act, upholding community-owned cooperatives for economic upliftment of the hill communities. CBED has also promoted NTFP production, agricultural technologies, CBO management, institutional strengthening, responsive development funds, economic literacy, gender development and sub-sector analysis. The project has been working closely with the Government of Uttaranchal and has been actively providing policy feedback.The Department of Energy established the Uttaranchal Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA), as a nodal organization working on non-conventional energy. It has established solar units and solar fencing in remote villages of the state for provision of lighting facilities and supply of electricity for cottage-based industries. It also develops the capacities of rural communities in managing solar units. Rural workshops have also been set up and village youths have been trained in repairing and maintenance of solar technology. In addition to this, village-level funds are mobilized to cover the maintenance costs of the systems and village-level solar committees have also been formed to supervise their functioning. UREDA has offices in all districts of the state.



Monday, December 24, 2007

“If we discard rapid industrialization in Uttarakhand, then what else should we adopt?”

Are we folling the wrong Path! -- BY ANIL BISHT

From the time Uttarakhand came into existence, the people of the state have seen many changes. Even if these changes are more visual in the urban areas, still one thing that reached even to the remotest corner of the state is HOPE. A hope that the formation of the state will usher a new era in every desired activity. The light of prosperity will touch every household and elevate the standard of living of every resident of the state. There were strong reasons to believe the same. The foremost among these were the unique flora and fauna, unique climate, and modest stock of untapped natural resources.But after seven years and three governments, the state is struggling to achieve what it aspired to achieve at its birth. In other words the state is still faring below its potential. That brings us--the people and the Government of the state, to ask ourselves, why?Uttarakhand is a state where education is still concentrated in a few major cities. The rest of the regions still have to recognize the utility of education. Those who are physically fit, join the armed forces. Although the no. of people getting into forces has reduced significantly in the last two decades, it is still the most sort after profession for the hill youth. So people in the state still consider education as a mere step to get into the forces.In addition to that the hard terrain and inclement weather also makes the education a real tough task. From the early age children have to help their elders in the agricultural activity and household chores, making it difficult for them to concentrate on their studies, As a result those who can’t make it to the army, find themselves unfit for majority of the modern day jobs.Adding to this is the nature of land holdings. The land holdings in the state are very small except for a few in the plain regions. As a result, with each passing day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a family to survive on the piece of land they hold.So it is quite natural for us to believe that whenever any new policy is made by the government, it has taken the weak education of the youth and small land holdings factors into consideration. But from the way successive governments have functioned, it seems these factors though central are never given adequate attention.The model the three governments up to now are following is that of rapid industrialization. For them more industries mean more jobs and greater well being. To fulfill this objective, SEZs have been established at many places and new industrial licenses are being given every day. It is true that jobs are created when industries or to be more precise manufacturing units are set up, but what can be done if the education required for these jobs is not present. Apart from that what to do of the sharks of the job market—the so called man power consultants who force those who manage to get the job to work for below subsistence wages.We-the people and the Government of the state, should realise that inviting industrialists to the state will never solve our problems. First the land resource in the state is scarce and can be put into better use; and second whoever comes to the state to set up industries is not coming to elevate the living standard of the people but because he or she is getting land relatively cheaper than other states. That brings us to another question “If we discard rapid industrialization, then what else should we adopt?”This question though simple needs serious thinking. So lets think something worth and share…




The forests in Uttarakhand have been valued at $2.4 billion or Rs.107 billion per year in terms of services they provide to the people.

Study: value of forests should be recognised and compensated

Special Correspondent The Hindu...

Valuation, a balanced approach for conservation of ecosystems
Forests’ contribution reflected in SDP is only 3.50 per cent

NEW DELHI: The forests in Uttarakhand have been valued at $2.4 billion or Rs.107 billion per year in terms of services they provide to the people. This needs to be recognised and compensated, says a new report.
The average value of $1,150 per hectare per year for the services provided needs to be reflected in our economic planning and compensated for, according to the study ‘Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Forest Governance, in Uttarakhand, as a scoping study,’ brought out by LEAD India and its partner organisation, Central Himalayan Environmental Association (Uttarakhand). The report evaluates and quantifies the services rendered by the Himalayan ecosystem in the State, and is the first comprehensive collation of scientific information around various Ecosystem Services using mainly secondary sources.
Ecosystem Services is defined as a wide range of conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems, and the species that make them up, sustain and fulfil human life. As many as 32 such services, including carbon sequestration, climate management, hydrological regulation, timber, soil conservation, pollination and other non-timber forest produces have been identified so far.
The report described valuation as a balanced approach for conservation of ecosystems that calls to conserve whatever remains and restore it in areas where it is possible, rather than spending time and resources on selecting biodiversity rich areas.
Despite making considerable contribution in Uttarakhand’s economic and ecological systems, forests do not get proper recognition for their contribution in the State Domestic Product (SDP) in the absence of proper valuation and lack of information to decision-makers.
Its contribution reflected in the SDP is only 3.50 per cent (Rs.5,109.6 million) as only few goods and services from these forests are marketed and thus accounted in the current calculus, the report suggests.
Uttarakhand is rich in endemic biodiversity and the forests provide ecosystem services of high magnitude to the Indo-Gangetic Plain in terms of regulated water supply and nutrients rich soil through its river connections, thereby sustaining the livelihoods of about 500 million people inhabiting the area. Livelihoods for more than 5 million mountain-dwellers are also mainly forest-based.
The study further says that whatever success the people in mountains have achieved in conserving their forests, they have been able to do so without any access to modern energy sources.
From equity point of view alone, the poor people in Uttarakhand should be given support to have alternatives to biomass fuel.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snaps of PG Group - Get Together...held at Garhwal Bhawan, New Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal..!!


Pauri Garhwal, Chamoli Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Kumaon, Nainital, Bhimtal, Kotdwar, Garhwali, Kumaoni, Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand..


Struggle for Capital Gairsain Goes On : Second phase of Uttarakhand Movement !!

Gairsain is not an unfamiliar idea. It was widely accepted as the capital of Uttarakhand even before the demand for a separate hill state came into full swing in 1994. In fact, Gairsain is not a geographical entity alone, it is a complete philosophy of development to be achieved through the 73rd and 74th Amendments of our Constitution.If the present state of things is to be kept forever, then it is alright to make Dehradun as the permanent capital of Uttaranchal. But if we want to tilt our priorities towards that distant person, who has been left far behind in the U.P. model of development, then we will have to make Gairsain our capital. Dehradun means that those who are already better off, will continue to reap the harvest of well being in this new state too. Gairsain means that the government is determined to go to the door of the poorest. Dehradun in no way represents a geography in which the people, though provided handsomely by mother nature, are forced to live in utter poverty. It is as simple as that.The irony is, that those who were never interested in a separate state, and in fact who opposed the very idea of Uttarakhand are ruling it since it came into being. Mr. Narayan Dutt Tewari had declared in 1994, ''I will not allow Uttarakhand to take shape as long as I am alive.'' Today he heads this state. What a mockery of all those martyrs who sacrificed their lives to fulfil a dream of their people!Even after Uttaranchal became a reality, Baba Mohan Uttarakhandi had to lay down his life for Gairsain after a fast, lasting 39 days. This tragic event took place on 9th August 2004. Then the activists of Uttarakhand Mahila Manch took over. They started a fast unto death, two at a time, from 2nd October, the tenth anniversary of the infamous Muzaffarnagar incident. During the fast when one woman, whose condition deteriorated, would be forcibly removed and force-fed by Chamoli District Police and Administration, another would take her place. Women activists had to bear the cruel repression of the police, as they were often lathi charged while being forcibly removed. This sequence continued for 63 days. But no one from the Uttaranchal Government came to talk to the women.This was when the Congress Govt. in Andhra Pradesh was holding talks with the outlawed Naxalite outfits across the table, in Uttaranchal the Chief Minister did not consider the women activists, who sacrificed everything in the historic movement of 1994, fit to talk with. The Uttaranchal Chief Secretary remarked sarcastically, ''Uttarakhand activists should not agitate for an impossible demand.'' This same man, Dr. R.S.Tolia, as a secretary in undivided U.P., had finalised the Ramashankar Kaushik Cabinet Committee report in 1994 which, after prolonged deliberations, had declared Gairsain as the most suitable place for the capital of proposed Uttarakhand state. This apathy forced the Uttarakhand activists to review their tactics.The Uttaranchal Government had no concern for their lives. The mainstream media would not write about them, as a propagator of consumer economy, it covertly supports the idea of keeping up the capital in Dehradun. Bureaucrats and businessmen in Dehradun does suit its commercial interests more than the ill fed and half naked villagers. If media does not ridicule the emotions of Uttarakhand, it tries to ignore them. So, the best idea, the activists thought, will be to go straight to the people. It was the people who had made the impossible task possible and created this state. But now let down by the politicians, disillusioned and disorganised, they sought counsel. ''Padyatra'' was the time tested method.Mahatma Gandhi had undertaken many Padyatras to know the Indian people better. Dandi Yatra is a glorious page of our history. Even recently, Dr. Rajshekhar Reddy took a Padyatra to defeat the might of Chandra Babu Nayadu in Andhra Pradesh. Well, they are going to the people and will undertake as many Padyatras, as possible, this was decided by the Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Samiti. Led by Dr. Shamsher Singh Bisht, President of Uttarakhand Lok Vahini, Kamla Pant and Dr. Uma Bhatt of Uttarakhand Mahila Manch and veteran journalist Harish Chandola the first Padyatra started on 5th December 2004 from Gairsain. Well known poet and cultural activist Girish Tewari ''Girda'' and Editor of ''Pahar'' Dr. Shekhar Pathak were there among others to see them off. Congress M.L.A. Pradeep Tamta accompanied the first Padyatris for a while. The last pair of hunger strikers, Chandrakala Chamoli and Padma Gupta were with these Padyatris in a jeep. On the way these two were forcibly taken away by the Police in Gholteer, near Karnaprayag and were put in a hospital.The youngest among the Padyatris was 11 years old Aditya Pande, who did not mind walking 15 to 20 Kms per day. Everywhere the Padyatris were accorded a warm welcome. The Padyatris sung songs, raised slogans, distributed their pamphlets titled ''Gairsain ka matlab sabke chehre par muskan aaye'' (Gairsain means a smile on every face) and ''Sirf bhavnayen hee nahin hain Gairsain aandolan ke peeche'' (There are not only emotions behind the Gairsain movement) and sold the Pahar booklet ''Rajdhani Ka Prasna'' (The question of the capital) on their way. They addressed quick meetings wherever they saw a few shops. Their boarding and lodging was taken care of by those who symphathised with their cause, they did not have to pay for it.Oh yes, they were presented with little purses whenever they requested the audience after a roadside meeting. With this money they were able to pay for the rent and fuel of the jeep following them, with a sound system and their luggage and literature. Walking almost 200 Kms. through Jangalchatti, Adibadri, Simli, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Kirtinagar, Maletha, Pachhmoli, Devprayag, Vyasi, Vashisht Gufa, Tapovan, Muni Ki Reti, Swargashram, Rishikesh, Raiwala, Bhaniawala and Doiwala, 16 tired but smiling Padyatris reached Jogiwala at the outskirts of Dehradun on the evening of 19th December.They included Dr. Shamsher Singh Bisht, Kamla Pant, Rajiv Lochan Sah, Jabbar Singh Powel, Mahesh Chandra Joshi, Pooran Chandra Tewari, Daya Krishna Kandpal, Manish Sundariyal, Dinesh Chandra Joshi, K.C.Joshi, Pushkar Singh Lodhiyal, Dan Singh Bisht, Soban Singh, Pushpa Chauhan, Neetu Badoni and Heera Bisht. Next day, on their final leg towards Vidhan Sabha Bhawan, they were joined by hundreds of local Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha activists.The police had put a big barricade to stop them at Rispana Bridge, but it could not hold the demonstrators for long. They broke loose and held a two hour long public meeting outside the Vidhan Sabha gate. On 21st of December 2004 Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha started a 5 day Upvaas on Rajpur Road, in front of the Rajya Sachivalay gate. There was a scuffle with the Police when they put up the tent there, but finally the Police had to back out. Five persons, Kamla Pant, Rajiv Lochan Sah, Chandrakala Bisht, Satish Lakhera and Manish Sundariyal undertook the five day fast, while others accompanied them with 24 hours relay fast.People in large numbers, from all sections of society came to the Upvaas Sthal to express their support. They listened to the activists, took their literature, became familiar with the concept of Gairsain and offered whatever money they could spare for this cause. One fact that was obvious during this Upvaas was that eighty percent of the residents of Dehradun are tired of the so called ''Provisional Capital.'' They have been deprived of their peaceful life. Dehradun has become a noisy and polluted town. Crime is on the increase. Only twenty percent of the populace is satisfied with the Capital''s present location. These are the people, who have successfully put themselves inside the scheme of things and are reaping the harvest of a new state in form of contracts and other businesses.During this Upvaas, the Uttarakhand Mahila Manch activists angered by some remarks of Justice Virendra Dixit, chairman of one man Rajdhani Sthal Chayan Ayog, published in Press, ''gheraoed'' him and also stopped the Delhi bound Shatabdi Express for a while. Justice Dixit was unable to answer the demonstrators'' question that if he was honest in his intentions, then why did he not stop the State Government from spending lavishly in Dehradun and gave it an excuse for the future that after so much expenditure it would be unwise to remove the capital from there. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal also started a fast unto death in Dehradun Collectorate compound. The first hunger striker, Prithvi Chand Ramola, was forcibly removed and force-fed within two days. The others followed suit. The first Padyatra was a morale boosting experience for the activists and within a fortnight Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha started another one.They started from Gairsain on the 7th of January. This time the destination was Bageshwar, where they were to reach on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is observed as the famous Uttarayani Fair in Bageshwar. This day has a political importance too. On the Uttarayani of 1921, the registers of Coolie Begar, i.e., forced labour were set afloat in the confluence of Saryu and Gomti by the Kumaon Parishad activists under the leadership of Pt. Badri Dutt Pande and hence a disgraceful custom was put to an end. Since that day, it has become customary, first for the Congress and after Independence for other political parties too, to hold their rallies in Bageshwar on every Uttarayani. It was an appropriate time for Uttarakhand activists to address the masses. So in a manner, similar to the previous Padyatra, the group of Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha activists reached Bageshwar on the afternoon of 13th January 2004 via Panduwakhal, Chaukhutia, Dwarahaat, Binta, Someshwar, Kausani and Garur,.The group included Dr. Shamsher Singh Bisht, Kamla Pant, Rajiv Lochan Sah, Pushpa Chauhan, Mahesh Chandra Joshi, Daya Krishna Kandpal, Pooran Chandra Tewari, Bhaskar Upreti, Ramesh Pargain, Manish Sundariyal, Deepak Maithani, Laxman Giri Goswami, Dinesh Chandra Joshi, Soban Singh, Kalawati Goswami, Chandrakala Chamoli, Devki Farswan, Savitri Silswal and Pawna Semwal. Dr. Uma Bhatt and Satish Lakhera had to drop out midway for personal reasons. The slogan shouting group was given a warm reception by Bageshwar District Bar Association, where they addressed a meeting. In the evening they were offered the Bageshwar Mela Samiti Stage meant for cultural programmes. The voice of Dr. Shamsher Singh Bisht, elaborating the concept of Gairsain, was carried far and wide through the loud speakers scattered all over the town. The activist even had the songs of Girda, Narendra Singh Negi and Zahoor Alam for the audience.Later they marched through the streets of Bageshwar with their songs, slogans and pamphlets. In comparison, the performance of the other political parties like the BJP and the Congress in the historic ''Bagar'' was lack lustre and poorly attended. Padyatras have now been suspended for a while, keeping the adverse winter weather in mind. They will soon start again. The Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha has decided on some treks. One will be in the Nanda Devi Bio Sphere Reserve area of Chamoli district, where the villagers have been deprived of their customary rights in the forests. Another Padyatra will be taken through the catchment of Bhagirathi and Bhilangna rivers in Tehri district, where entire stretches of the rivers have been sold to the outside companies without taking the local populace in confidence. Yet another Yatra, Sangharsh Morcha plans from Almora to Dharchula near the Nepal border.After all these Padyatras, with all doubts and confusions removed from the minds of the people and persons with zeal and courage identified, Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha intends to hold a meeting on the 23rd of April 2005, the anniversary of the Peshawar incident, when Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali refused to fire on unarmed Pathans and instead opted for life imprisonment. In this convention the strategy for the next round of Uttarakhand movement will be decided. Meanwhile angered by the apathy of the state MLAs, who totally ignored the ongoing agitation about Gairsain in the entire winter session of Vidhan Sabha and preferred to get their allowances enhanced instead, Kamla Pant, convener of Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha and Satish Lakhera, convener of its Gairsen unit staged a protest in the House on 20th January, the last day of the session by slogan shouting. They were immediately arrested but were let free later in the evening. So, the struggle for Gairsain goes on.


Determine plan priorities as per state-specific needs of Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand : B. C. Khanduri!!

NEW DELHI: Enumerating the problems of his state on account of its hilly terrain, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri on Wednesday asked the Centre to determine plan priorities according to region and state-specific needs. Khanduri also urged the Centre to relax norms for developing health and medical infrastructure keeping in mind the remoteness of villages and also low population density of the state. "Determination of plan priorities should be according to region and state-specific needs, problems and constraints of economic development and status of resource endowment," he said in his address at the 54th meeting of the National Development Council here. The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, should be so amended as to exclude the "settled revenue lands" from the definition of "forests" and the lands not having forest cover should not be treated as forest. "Adequate priority should be given in the plan to programmes for checking soil erosion," he added. The Chief Minister said that a second green revolution should be initiated keeping in mind the below subsistence agriculture in hilly areas of the Himalayan states. Resources from the 11th five-year plan would be required to extend administrative support to the self-help group movement and delivery of micro-finance, he said. Apart from this, he also asked the Centre to enact at the earliest the legal framework to protect the rights of people being displaced due to variety of developmental projects and natural disasters.






Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Patwari- पटवारी उत्तराखंड की निहत्थी पुलिस

D.N. Barola

चौंकाने की बात नहीं है पर यह सच है कि उत्तराखंड के ग्रामीण अंचल मैं निहत्थी पुलिस आज भी कार्य कर रही है. गाँधी के देस मैं अजूबा पटवारी अहिंसक पुलिस के रुप मैं पिछले २०० सालों से सुचारू रुप से कार्य कर रही है. धारा ३०२ जैसे जघन्य अपराध की जांच भी पटवारी ही करता है हथियार के नाम पर उसके पास एक डंडा ही होता है. मुलजिम को बंद करने के लिए कमरा भी नहीं होता. रात्रि को अपराधी को बंद करने हेतु वह अक्सर हत्गादी hatgari को अपराधी व खुद के हाथ मैं बांध लेटा था. पटवारी को वर्दी भी नहीं मिलती ऐसे मैं कौन अपराधी है कौन पटवारी पहिचानाना था. मुश्किल हो जाता. मैं संसार का एक मात्र अजूबा पटवारी ट्रेनिंग स्कूल है. पहाड़ कि शांत प्रिय जनता पटवारी व्यवस्था को अच्छा समझती है.





Lansdowne, Lord (1888-1894) Governor-General and Viceroy of India. Born on 14 January 1845, he had already served as the Governor General of Canada and Foreign Secretary of Great Britain and deputy leader of the Conservative Party before assuming the office of Governor-General in India. An unexpected turn on the Kotdwar-Pauri road brings you to Lansdowne, a pretty hill station in the Pauri Garhwal region of Uttaranchal. This beautiful retreat was popular with the British who established a Garhwal Rifles cantonment here during the Raj. The town is well developed thanks to the cantonment, yet it is charmingly unspoiled and tranquil. Lansdowne is set amidst lovely surroundings – tall oaks and blue pines rise like spires off the mountainside. The forests are lovely, dark and deep, just ideal for those long walks and picnics. There are amazing mountain views of the Western Himalayas from a number of vantage pints like Snow View and Tiffin Top. A number of treks into the hillside are launched from Lansdowne.



Monday, December 17, 2007

The song from the hills.. Pauri, Tehri, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal..!!

Depicting him as a corrupt, flirtatious politician who neglects his duties as he whiles away his time in nefarious activities, the music video stars an actor with a striking resemblance to Tiwari.

Shubha Mudgal

I really don’t know how you might be able to do so, but I would strongly recommend you give the song Nauchhammi Narena, or “Naughty Narayan”, a listen. It isn’t going to be an easy song to locate, I reckon, if the chase I had to give is any indicator. In fact, now might be the time to thank my driver, Suresh Kumar, for having found and bought the track for me for a meagre Rs54 (including taxes) at a store in New Delhi that stocks music from Uttarakhand.

Backstory: The song is about a corrupt politician
For those who are willing to take up a challenge, look for Nauchhammi Narena on a VCD called Uttaranchali Chitrageet, produced by Rama Cassettes and titled, what else, Nauchhammi Narena! And, oh yes, “Nauchhammi” is to be pronounced as you would nau or nine in Hindi, and chhammi to rhyme with Shammi. Sung by the hugely popular Uttarakhand singer Narendra Singh Negi, the album features eight Garhwali music videos, with an additional ninth track that contains the making of Nauchhammi Narena. Hailed in January as the Dylan of the hills by a Telegraph correspondent, Negi, also called the Mohammad Rafi of Uttarakhand, does what many an artiste would baulk at—he takes on the establishment in his title track with a blistering, scarcely veiled attack on the former chief minister of Uttarakhand, Narayan Dutt Tiwari.
Depicting him as a corrupt, flirtatious politician who neglects his duties as he whiles away his time in nefarious activities, the music video stars an actor with a striking resemblance to Tiwari. While Negi’s target is undoubtedly the Congress, he doesn’t have too many kind words for the Bharatiya Janata Party either. What’s more, he isn’t apologetic, even though the music video (now available on YouTube) starts with the declaration that all characters are imaginary and that resemblance to any individual is purely accidental. In an interview posted on a website, (, Negi replies thus when asked whether his song upset Tiwari: “Whenever the truth is revealed, it is apparent that those affected by it would show their anguish. What I have communicated through the song are the feelings of the people of Uttaranchal, which they were otherwise unable to express openly. By doing so, I don’t feel like I have done anything wrong, and it is only the truth which I have communicated through this song.”
There is much that can be admired in Negi’s work. For instance, he uses the traditional devotional song form of jagar for his best-selling track and refuses to abandon folk instruments, such as the thali and damua, even while including the synthesizer that seems to have become part and parcel of Indian music from virtually any and every part of the country. Even his chorus looks like regular hill folk singing as they always would.
No makeovers, no wriggling, writhing cleavage-baring dancers in this music video, and that’s saying a lot these days. And there’s more that we can all learn from—he even takes care to acknowledge his team, including cameraman Ravi Bhatt, all the participating artistes, editor Kunal Vivek, and a music arranger with the most extraordinary name: H. Soni “Pum Pum”!
It has been a while since Nauchhami Narena was first launched and became a big hit. And I am relieved to see that Narendra Singh Negi hasn’t had to withdraw any offensive line from the song or edit any objectionable scene from the video. So what if the once feisty Taslima Nasreen has bowed to political pressure and promised to be a good girl and behave in favour of safe passage to Kolkata.








Friday, December 07, 2007

A Garhwali Fairytale... Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal

Contributed by Lakshmi......

A Garhwali Fairytale... Landowne, Pauri Garhwal, Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand

In the sweltering summer heat and scorching days, who wouldn't like to take a quick retreat over the weekend to de-stress, get far away from the maddening crowd and in touch with our inner-self. If you dream of romancing the mountains, exult in the un-spoilt scenery, breathe in the bracing air and relish the peace and tranquility of the snow covered peaks, then Lansdowne, is the perfect get-away choice. An unexpected turn on the Kotdwar Pauri road brings you to Lansdowne, a pretty hill station in the Pauri Garhwal of Uttaranchal.Ensconced with the world's highest and most beautiful mountain ranges, the Himalayas, Uttaranchal Hills are endowned with extraordinary beauty, majority of which is yet to be exposed to the sights and sounds of outside world. The majestic mountain peaks and the lush green flora abounding in the area make Lansdowne an ideal location for eco-tourism. There are amazing mountain views of the western Himalayas from a number of vantage points like Snow View and Tiffin Top. The clean fresh and invigorating environment makes Lansdowne a preferred destination to relax and unwind and a mere visit to the place is a truly rejuvinating experience. Free from all the trappings of the standard hill stations, Lansdowne offers a lot of options for true connoisseurs of nature. While there is the Siddhpeeth route for the pilgrims, there is wild life route for nature and animal lovers; adventure sports for the daring and health resorts and cultural tourism for the regular tourists. Till late 70s Lansdowne was the only city after Almora, which was the centre of cultural activities. Having adopted from the culture of Kumaonis, Garhwalis and Rajasthanis, the city boasts of an enriched culture centre. Named after Sir Henry Charles Fitzmauritz, the 5th Marques of Lansdowe, Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894, the winding paths of the city are still lined with colonial bungalows. it is also home to the famed Garhwl Rifles....rather, the whole economy of the city revolves around the cantonment, which rigidly ensures that this little station is kept as spic and span as its own barracks. Set admist lovely surroundings, tall oaks, blue pines rising like spires off the mountainside, and blanketing bougainvilleas colouring the hills with Blue, Purple and Red, the forests of Lansdowne are just ideal for those long walks and picnics. Yes, you won't find the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws of Mussoorie or the three wheeled 'autos' of Dharmsala, Savor instead the unlimited pleasure of walking in and around the slopes. WHAT TO SEELike all other hill resorts in north India, Lansdowne too has its fair share of temples and shrines, most of which are devoted to the various forms of the Mother Goddess. While here, you can make a wish at Jwalpa Devi, 47 Km from Lansdowne on the Pauri Kotdwar Road. As the ancient Garhwal legent goes, a demon king's daughter, Sachi wanted to marry Indra, the king of heaven, who was not inclined to tie the nupital knot with the besotted girl. Sachi prayed to her her favourite diety, Jwalpa Devi. Moved by the girl's heart-felt prayers, th goddess granted her wish. Since then, Garhwalis say a wish made here is often granted, which often means crowds of boon-seekers throng the shrine during the Ashtami in April to October. The locally important Durga Devi temple (24 Kms from Lansdowne) lies on the right bank of the Khoh River, and the temple itself is really 4 Km inside a cave. Deep inside is a Shiva Linga and locals whisper that wishes made here are bound to be granted. The Tarkeshwar Mahadev (30 Kms) with its special Shiva Linga, is dedicated to the God of Kedar Khand. This temple is one of the oldest Sidhpeeths in India and is nestled in a thick forest of deodar, blue pine and oaks. Water pools around the temple lend an aura of mystic charm to the place. Tarkeshwar is on the road heading back to Kotdwar. Another well known landmark is the Kanwa Ashram, and so beautiful is this idyllic hamlet, just 14 Kms from Kotdwar, that it doesn't evenneed an on-so colourful history to tempt a visitor. This is the place where, as the legend goes, Sage Vishwamitra meditated for years, which even rattled Indra. So, the crafty lord deftly sent a bewitching Menaka, to entrance the sage, who couldn't resist the temptation. So was born Shakuntala, who later on fell in love with Dushyanth, and to them was born King Bharat, after whom the nation is named. Overlooking this valley, quiet flows the river Malini, where Shakuntala lost her engagement ring, making Dushyant forget her. This silver stream is so clear that you can see the pebbles from your bus window. GETTING THEREThe best way to reach is to take the Mussorie Express, which leaves Old Delhi at 10:45 PM to arrive at Kotdwar at 07"20 AM. One can hire a cab from Kotdwar or share a cab or take a bus for around Rs. 25 per person. Else, one can drive up to Dehradun via road, which is 150 Kms from Delhi, and drive further up for another 150 Kms. Else drive upto Meerut and then take the State Highway to Kotdwar via Bijnor. The route becomes most stunning as soon as you leave Kotdwar right upto Lansdowne. ACCOMODATIONThere are a few private hotels and lodges in addition to GMVN Tourist Bunglows. Besides this, there is PWD Inspection Bunglows, Army Welfare Board Rest House and Uttaranchal Forest Department Base Camp, where you can stay with prior arrangement. But the most popular among them is the 'Fairy Dale Hotel', run by a local gentleman. Even if you ask for the moon he will tell you, "I will try and get it for you".

Pauri, Chamoli, Tehri, Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand, Jobs, Naukri, India, Sarkari Naukri, Government Jobs

The Pauri Garhwal Group!

The Pauri Garhwal Group!