Himshakti :The Power of Himalayas
The Himalayas are the pinnacle of beauty as well as susceptible to various natural disasters. The people living have mostly been self-sufficient by relying on the fulfilment of their basic necessities by the Himalayas. Their lives are challenging due to the treacherous terrain, poor connectivity, frequent landslides, cloud bursts in monsoons, and wildlife impacting agriculture and livestock.
In these two years of engagement, Harshit had developed a bond with the community and had the wish to work with them somehow. It was only in 2018 that Cloe, a French national contacted Harshit after being intrigued by Harshit’s story. Harshit shared his wish to engage with the Himalayas and while discussing with Cloe, they stumbled across the idea of selling ‘Pahaadi Namak’, which is a staple in every person’s household in the mountains. It seemed like a good opportunity to develop an additional source of income for the community by establishing connections with the markets.
Irrespective of all the hardships, the community is warm and welcoming to everyone. Harshit got the opportunity to engage and work with the community after the devastating cloud burst of 2013 in Uttarakhand. He started his engagement in a remote village named Didsari to re-establish connectivity by helping in the repair of a bridge that was broken in the disaster. It was after two years of running around
government offices, documenting the impact, engaging with locals, and many visits up and down that the bridge was constructed and the village was able to rebuild and recover
Together, they set out to support the remote villages of Uttarakhand by creating some additional jobs in these areas. They chose to start with a product that is unique to the region – the seasoned salt of the Himalayas. Since then, Himshakti has been working with local communities to source the salt, and employ local people to produce and package it. This was a huge success which led to the start of a larger mission for Himshakti- to put a halt to emigration and provide sustainable livelihoods to the villagers.