By Dr. Swati Shah (Editor Tourism)
People have different opinion about hills and life over there. Belonging to the hilly state of
Uttarakhand I can give a brief overview of the place, people and problems and solutions.Starting with the place, there can be no other beautiful place than hills, the place purify not
only the air but also the soul. The serenity of the hills sooth the mind, relax the soul and heal
the body. We don’t need an AC, an air purifier, an RO in the mountains. Everything is so
natural and mother earth provides it all and this can really be seen in villages where there is
pure air to breathe, a balanced climate, pure natural water. Waking up palisade with greenery,
feeling the fresh air touching you face and give you an idea about what really is a healthy
People of the hilly are simple yet happy. People are ready to help the strangers, you won’t
find incidence of crime, theft in the places. Though job opportunities and earning are less but
still they manage the life happily. They don’t require going to malls to feel happy their strong
social network which is other than facebook, whatsapp, twitter etc; their cultural festivals,
their togetherness makes them happy.
The hills have so much in it still they are facing some problems. The very first comes with
the recognition to the place. The youth of hills is migrating to metros in search of
employment opportunities. Villages which represent the true picture of India are going barren
day by day. The unplanned development another major problem as the hills which attract
everyone with its beauty and charm are getting crowded with unplanned construction and
loosing in tranquility.
Employment creation: Yes the place has limited job opportunities but we don’t want job
seekers everywhere but job givers. The woman of hills especially in villages work – hard
with no rest but the need is for proper direction. The Self – help groups can really work great
in this direction. It is easy to orient women and use their potential in a synchronized manner.
Sustainable model for hills: The place being fragile require sustainable model of
development. The construction should be planned keeping in view the very nature of the
place. It is due to the unplanned development that the nature took its toll on human during
Kedarnath flood. Blocking the nature way shall never lead to development, as nature will find
its way, water, mountain will find its path. If the construction was checked, the devastation
can be much reduced at least of life and property. In the race of development we are
forgetting the nature of the place, raw, unplanned construction is no development but it’s an
invitation for future disaster. Disturbing the natures balance will never lead to equilibrium.
Yes we require development but with sustenance.
Promotion of eco- friendly industries: Keeping in mind the beauty and fragility aspect of
hills, the industries which creates less of pollution and more of employment like tourism and
agriculture should be promoted. The demands of organic products are on boom so planned
agriculture with help of agriculture specialist can create wonders. Similarly Uttarakhand is
blessed with natural beauty and is popular among pilgrims due to the Chota- Char dham.
Planning and promoting tourism keeping in mind the carrying capacity of the place shall not
only create jobs for locals but will add to the beauty of the place in a sustainable manner.