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I heard about 6 steps to success from Arnold Schwarzenegger. You should always give back something to your nation. It gives immense pleasure and joy to serve your nation and society. The thought kept hitting my mind on a lazy weekend. Also thanks to people around me who were busy musing about their life’s next step; Which B-School they should I join? Which bar they should hit?

DSC_0343-Edit I wanted to create a project that not only had the fun element but benefitted the society as well. A group of enthusiasts assembled together (including me) and decided to take this idea further and give it a concrete form. The idea in brief, was to create responsible tourism where the central concern was to give something back to nature and society. The final idea was termed as Global Himalayan Expedition. We decided that we would take a group of people each year to a remote location and do something for the local community with the help of the funds collected and the group members would also contribute with whatever expertise they had!

Inspiration behind GHE: Chapter 1

DSC_0846-Edit Conceptualized by Sir Robert Swan (also called Rob!) we decided to build an E-base. The real motivation was his presence. He was kind enough to come down for the inauguration of the same. The concept of creating an E-base is not a complicated one but it does require some efforts. Everyone on the board was determined and the task was completed smoothly. The importance of E-base is immense, not only for the locals but the global community as well. Besides being a source for education and linking the village to the outer world, it’s a big step in tackling the larger issue like climate change. The natives get to know how they are contributing to the rise in temperature and therefore, also gained knowledge regarding the steps they can take to control it. One can definitely look at it as a cool way of promoting sustainable development. The team was able to successfully complete the task even though a lot of members faced illness due to altitude problems.

Sumda Chenmo: Chapter 2

DSC_0723-Edit The next important task that we assigned ourselves was to bring electricity to the village named Sumda Chenmo, enroute the trek Laamyuru to Chilling.

DSC_0611-Edit The nearest motorable road is located at a distance of almost 12 kilometers and the fast, gushing streams that we had to cross five to six times makes the village almost inaccessible. But as I mentioned earlier, we were a willful bunch and the idea of social tourism had taken a hold of us and we had to make it successful, so we diligently kept on doing our work and finally the solar panels were installed and the village was lighted up first time in its history. It was an amazing and overwhelming moment for all of us.

DSC_0666 Here is a glimpse of a village waiting over false promises of electricity for the past 15 years finally gets illuminated and the happiness was very much visible on the glowing (literally) faces of the villagers.

DSC_0526-Edit The main task at GHE is to contribute to the society by working in remote corners and making a difference, however small. We all travel for self -satisfaction but in the process we don’t realize that there are people who do not enjoy a privileged existence like ours. Social tourism is a new avenue that is yet to be explored to its fullest potential. The people involved not only get a chance to work with the local people but also get to meet like-minded people from all over the world and explore the amazing landscape, like we did!

DSC_0560-Edit It is an endeavor to make this world a better place for all and give people a chance to do so in a very organized fashion and they see the impact in front of them which makes it legendary.
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