The Agoda community development project
The Agoda community development project
Project Status: Since 2014
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Shikhar Travels Company, benefiting from 36 years’ experience, has undertaken an extensive community development project, including the cleaning of the area, educating the youngsters and providing them employment opportunities. This project is implemented with the support of Ministry of Forest, Uttarakhand and in coordination with Dodital Eco Vikas Samiti, is including the local community. It is an ongoing project aiming at improving the well-being of the local community.
The main focus of the project is to clean the Dodital trail and the lake, to provide training to the young people of the area to become mountain guides, as well as to provide specific skills’ development training to the Lodge owners of the area in order to offer better services to the tourists visiting the area. This is an ongoing project which started in 2010. The current objectives are the economic growth of the local mountain community, its education and web marketing training, the reforestation of certain parts of the area and the cleaning of the Dodital Lake and trek route and bring back non-biodegradable litter left at the end of the tourist season before snowfall. A four-day expedition will be carried out during which all the non-biodegradable garbage will be collected and will be given for recycling.
HOW DOES IT CONTRIBUTE TO MOUNTAIN PROTECTION
One of the focuses of this project is its contribution to the economic growth of the locals, by providing various jobs, and to their education, by training programs in tourism, trekking and environment protection and business development. For example, the employed population of Shikhar Nature Resort will be shown how to run a lodge, hospitality, importance of hygiene, importance of use of local food and need to enhance the local culture, basic first aid, marketing tools and modes including using the internet as a tool. Shikhar Travels has created a website for the lodge owners and trekking guides from Deodital Eco Vikas Smiti and trains them to run the site. With regard to environment, educational tours about tree planting and nature preservation are organised for visitors, the community and children. A cleaning action will be organised near the Dodital Lake and trek route to bring back all non-biodegradable litter left at the end of the tourist season before snowfall. This four-day expedition organised by Shikhar Team will be carried out during which all the non-biodegradable garbage will be collected and will be given for recycling.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND AUTHORITIES
On this project, Shikhar Travels is working with Dodital Eco Vikas Samiti, the Indian Ministry of Forest, Uttarakhand municipalities as well as WWF.
GOING FURTHER THAN BUSINESS AS USUAL
This project is completely non- profitable and for the development of one region, its economy and ecology. It is aimed at educating the local community, its economic empowerment as well as instilling ecological understanding and behaviour. The long term vision of the project is to ensure that the young men and women of the community can get the necessary training and get employment based on their qualifications which will improve their economic status by thinking beyond the walls and give them an opportunity to do so by providing them training.
The training of staff and skill development programmes are conducted by us at Shikhar Nature Resort. Shikhar Travels believes in giving back to the community where it is professionally involved and is actively promoting tourism in Garhwal Himlayas. The company considers that it is its moral responsibility to give back to this community. Hence Shikhar undertakes various initiatives to help the community grow stronger and economically self-sufficient.
Visitors and clients have various options to be part of this initiative while supporting the community: they can receive saplings to plant trees on trekking trails and mountain slopes, they can visit local schools during our educational tours. Children interact with host students, see how they study, take books and stationary for them. Cultural exchange (with performances and games) between visitors and hosts are regularly organised and encouraged. Clients can also spend time with the local community, see how they live and help the locals in the daily chores while learning from them and sharing with them what they know.