On a mission to clean Mountains

This Man Is On a Mission to Make Mountains Plastic Free

“I believe there was a past connection that drew me towards the Mountains. Having studied from a Military school, I have led a very disciplined life; it was only in college when we started going on these trips to Himachal and discovered my love for mountains. In 2008, a little nudge from my girlfriend, who was a Himachali, encouraged me to start a small cafĂ© in Kothi ( last village in Manali before the Rohtang pass.)”

“Running the cafe in the mountains at such a height and weather conditions was an experience in itself. Every morning our water supply pipe was broken by the cows, which required 35 mins of a trek from my end to fix that pipe. All along the way, I used to have my encounter with Gaddi Shepherds and they happened to be my first source of inspiration to go on higher altitudes and discover more of the alluring beauty.”

“I realized that I was living the dream of many people. Running the cafe by day at an enchanting location surrounded by the serene beauty and then sitting around a bonfire by night, singing, and playing guitar with friends and guests. What else you need in Life? Himachal has a very rich culture with a lot of mythical stories involving Gods and demons; every village has it’s own deity, and every incident has a back-up story involving those deities and demons. I was completely spellbound and absorbed by the culture and beauty of the place. How do I describe the emotions that get evoked while living in such proximity to nature? I have seen travelers/visitors getting enchanted and emotional after reaching these destinations. “

Healing Himalayas team on one of there cleanliness drive
Mountaineers at Work!
Gaddi Shephers in mountains
Garbage Disposal after a cleanliness drive.

“Occasionally, I used to take my friends and guests on treks to Hamta Pass & Jogni Waterfalls and realized that there are so many people who share the same love and emotions for the mountains as me but they just don’t know how to respect the nature. On my every trek, one thing that kept pinching me was that we are not giving anything back to nature; instead, we are just ruining the beauty by littering around the places. With the rise in tourism, solid waste, and carbon footprints were increasing, and it was very unsettling for me to see the waste, plastics lying on the ground ravaging the grace of the place. Soon, those emotions grew strong enough for me to leave everything behind and start Healing Himalayas with a mission to maintain cleanliness in the mountains and develop a comprehensive and holistic waste management program to save the Himalayas from the toxic trash.”

Garbage and Plastic collected from mountains
Garbage Collected after the Cleanliness Drive.
Garbage collected from Mountains

“Initially, I tricked some of my friends to join me on a trek and help clean the waste materials there. Soon, more people joined in as the social cause also came with the perk of trekking to such amazing locations. By being functional from 2016, we have collected tons and tons of garbage (more than 5,00,000 kilos of plastic) from our mass clean up campaigns in Parasar Lake, Kheerganga, Bijli Mahadev, Jogni Waterfall, and many more. We tried creating awareness among school & college students through the ground action and requested local pandits and pradhans(since they have such an influence on locals there) to encourage people to maintain cleanliness around them. Our campaign got attention from a few celebrities like Dia Mirza and Randeep Hooda, and now they have extended their support to us. “

Dia Mirza on a Socia Cause
Pradeep Sangwan with Dia Mirza
Dia Mirza Cleaning the mess on mountains

“We have a lot of plans in the coming future for Healing Himalayas as we are trying to figure out a way to recycle and reuse the waste materials there. While my parents at home want me to settle down and get a regular job, I am determined to clean the mess around the mountains and restore its beauty. I think this is the least that we can do to express our love back to mother nature. I love the contentment that I get from my work and I am glad that I found my calling in the mountains. Life couldn’t be better for me.”

You can extend your help to Healing Himalayas by JOINING them on a mass clean-up trek or by donating money HERE.

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