Corporate Social Responsibility
“For it is in giving that we receive”
St Francis of Assisi
Giving back has always been a part of what we do. We are one of the few companies that do not have to be reminded, regulated or urged by legal, ethical and environmental norms from any external entity to fulfill our responsibility towards our land, culture, environment, and people.
We realize the immense responsibility on our shoulders while working in the Tourism sector – the sheer nature of the Industry carries with it a certain risk to the ecosystem of the tourist destinations we draw you towards. And it is always important to us that we do not end up harming Mother Nature while opening up Her hidden treasures for you to behold and revel in, that our tours do not end up being intrusions into Her solitude, that we leave Her sacred groves and rivulets as pristine as we found them.
Equally important is our duty towards the society. Sharing the fruits of development Tourism brings to the land with its native inhabitants has always been our priority. We engage, employ and encourage the natives of the tourist destinations we lead you towards so that they end up benefiting as much as we do. After all, aren’t we meant to share the bounty we are given, and is it not in sharing that we truly receive the joy of, from, wealth?
We are behind LOOK society, an NGO committed to addressing the socio-economic, environmental and cultural issues in Uttarakhand state. Here we list a few ways we have done, and continue to do, our bit towards society and Mother Nature, hoping you too will join hands with us to weave a more beautiful, sustainable and joyous future.
We believe a more beautiful world is possible only if we grow more trees. We plant and tend many a tree in the hills and valleys of Uttarakhand. At higher altitudes, one should not just plant, but plant right! We take immense care in choosing the species that are well-suited for the Himalayan altitudes. Ecological conservation is of utmost importance to us, and our projects aim at leaving behind a sustainable, and happy too, earth for our future generations.
Barsu Village is, perhaps, the biggest of the projects we have undertaken. The tale of the village is that of a deserted Eden, its inhabitants having abandoned their belongings and migrated to other regions in search of better opportunities for livelihood and development elsewhere. They have not been able to break off their emotional ties with the village though – its Goddess and Temple they still offer Puja to, its land they refuse to give ownership away, its memories still bonding them to their roots. The self-initiated, long term project aiming at remigration of Barsuvillage started in February 2014. Converting 40 hectares of barren land to productive agricultural land is the most pivotal of required interventions to improve the chances of sustainable livelihood within the village, the other being developing the village as an attractive eco-tourism destination. The project has been stalled for a while due to our not receiving enough funds in the regard.
In the year 2011, we successfully organized Yuva Jagran Mahotsav , a celebration of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the great Spiritual leader whose words still inspire the youth of our nation, as part of which we conducted a 6 days training workshop and awareness programme for the youth, benefitting over 2,000 students and villagers in the area. Career counseling, creating awareness about the various government schemes and policies, conveying the scope and opportunities in Tourism and Hospitality sector, imparting professional training and workshops for small-scale entrepreneurs, shop-keepers and local guides, and disseminating information on the importance of developing the village women’s handicrafts were some of the highlights of the eight day festival.
The 2013 cloud burst disaster in Uttarakhand was a test of our humanity. Our hearts, sharing the immense grief of the populace who lost their homes, loved ones and livelihoods in the natural disaster, urged us to engage in the rescue, rehabilitation, and rebuilding of the ailing land. Not only did we distribute winter kits to over 2000 needy families across 25 villages, but we also enabled to provide cash support to help the deserving, by conducting the survey to identify the socially vulnerable people who had been exempted from receiving Government aid. We are still engaged in long term development projects aimed at improving livelihood and for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rudraprayag and adjacent districts.
We believe that the easiest way to change the world is to begin with children. We have been successful in establishing schools for children from less fortunate families. We believe that every individual has the right to education, and that no child should be deprived of the opportunities to realise their God-given potential. With the establishment of schools and the distribution of books and stationary free of cost to needy children, we strive towards a future where every child, irrespective of the financial wherewithal of their family, has access to quality education.
The power of unity – Collaborating with the Government, other NGOs, Corporations and like-minded individuals
We believe that democracy functions best when we, the people, instead of adopting the role of passive recipients, actively participate in the policy-making, functioning and implementation of the Government’s programmes and activities. Also, we recognize that it is at the stage of implementation that most socio-developmental programmes fail in India. Precisely why we collaborate with the Government and other NGOs to let the benefits of their schemes actually reach people. Be it conducting socio-vulnerability survey as a part of Disaster rehabilitation programme following the Kedarnath cloud burst of 2013 or helping in the distribution of water filter kits to primary and upper primary schools in Uttarakhand, we believe in the magic of collaboration with like-minded entities and organizations towards the common goal of social upliftment and nature conservation. Referring to which we are reminded of the following shloka from Rigveda –
समानी व आकूति: समाना हृदयानि व: |
समानमस्तु वो मनो यथा व: सुसहासति ||
यथा व: सुसहा असति ||
“One and the same be your resolve, and be your minds of one accord. United be the thoughts of all that all may happily agree.” For is it not when we work in unison towards the same goal that we truly unleash our organizational power?
It is never too late to join our caravan- “Miles to go before we sleep, Miles to go before we sleep, for we have promises to keep” to the land, to our forests, to our culture, to our people; would you care to join us along?