Himkatha is a bi-annual newsletter that yearns to celebrate the human-nature relationships of the agro-pastoral communities that inhabit the high-elevation landscape of Himachal Pradesh.
Civilization in this landscape dates back several millennia. Remoteness and tough weather conditions made it difficult to get to these places. In the process, they formed their own unique identity. Underling this was a sacred bond that people shared for the place which manifests in their folklore, traditions, beliefs, and their way of life. With improvements in accessibility, these regions became a subject of curiosity among explorers, academics: history, anthropology, geology, ecology, and many more.
More recently, with a rise in tourism, travelers have reached these places and brought back stories depicting life from remote valleys that are broadcast regularly on popular media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Despite all of this, seldom have we heard from the people of these regions.
Through HimKatha, we hope to explore and celebrate these local cultures, traditions, and practices that have stood the test of time. We encourage local communities to share their stories, experiences, and knowledge through the newsletter. While doing so, we hope not to shy away from discussing nature conservation topics that concern the region.
We hope that you will make time to read Himkatha and join the dialogue.
About the Team
For the past eleven years, Ajay has been working with local communities and government agencies to plan and implement conservation action in the high-elevation landscapes of India. He also supports research activities in these regions.
She has been associated with the Nature Conservation Foundation as Program Assistant. With a degree in computer science, she manages the admin responsibilities and various other functions for the smooth functioning of the team. She enjoys listening to old Hindi songs and a bit of gardening.
She has a master’s degree in Development from Azim Premji University and is currently working as a conservation coordinator at Nature Conservation Foundation. She facilitates community-led conservation in upper Kinnaur, Lahaul, and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and in parts of Ladakh. She has been involved in trying to improve community involvement in conservation by involving local youth.
Chemi is a postgraduate with a degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi. She has worked in Indian Development Sector for over 2 years as a communication professional and has joined NCF’s High Altitude Program to work on conservation outreach in high Himalayan landscapes in India. She likes reading and is interested in exploring wildlife conservation through the lens of social justice and intersectionality.