Megalith to Chorten Speak up for the Khas

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If 'Uncle Chips1 Can Do it So Can Garhwali Women

Asocial action group called theHimalay? Environment Study and Conservation Organisation has been successfully using science to make villagers' lives easier in the Garhwal h ill %, reporters the CSE-Dawn to Earth Feature Service, Established in1979, HESCO has trted to intro­duce innovations that improve the living stan­dards of Garhwalis without forcing the villagers to take a big leap away from their traditional practices.

At the hamlet of Gholtir, for instance, HESCO scientists modified the traditional gbarat water mill to increase efficiency. A: teflon bush was attached to the mill's shaft to increase the spin, and a flume reduces friction of the rushing water. "Earlier I used to grind 15 kg of wheat in an hour, but now I get double that," says Narayan Rana, the mill's operator.

"We do not want td impose alien technology on the villagers. We suggest best alternatives and let them decide on what they want," says Kiran Rawat, who modified the water mill at Ghoitiiv

HESCO's assistance goes beyond mere techno-fixes, however, and includes marketing support. Realising that the residents of Bilagarh were being cheated by middlemen of earnings from a bumper potato crop, the group trained BUagarh's women

oh the finer points of making potatachjps. It also provided a packaging -machine. Now BilagarhVchips; priced at IRs6 for a 100 gm pack against an ; input of IRs 20 per kg, are sqld all over the region. Says : Sangita Dhobhal an active member of Bilagarh's mfthild mangtil dal (women's welfare group), "We ar^ now in competition with Uncle Chips and Pepsi Foods!"

In Animath/ an isolated village of 20 households which was not connected to the electricity grid, HESGO has put up a gasifier plant that generates 3.5 kw electricity out of briquettes (loose biomass: converted into splidfuei by tamping). Thegasifier wa? developed bythe'Indian Institute of Technology,(HT) Delhi; and the villagers have been trained to make briquettes and to'run1 ■" i the gasifier.

In the same village, HESGO has shownilje villagers the uses of rambans (agave), a commonplace thorny fibrous plant which has traditionally be considered useles's other tharVtp line field perimeters, lndira'DeviRawat,|i : weaver, now earns IRs 600 a month selling r^rnbans fibre products.

Elsewhere, 12-year-old KuideepTSrngh Negiof Gwar viOage has learned how to grow mushrooms on the skiri of the sullu plant (Wuphorhw toylem). In^hisfirst mpnthof productionf:the boy'gave life 45 to his mother, who was doubtless pleased with this turn of technology in the GarhwialMls.

...In ihe. fest issue,we pirobeii thelppssible origins ofthe t^rm '; > We iiqvv study ihJ

=As--Wadde!l has it(; '*tHe^boriginies; the tepc'Ms^ «jM ii.:
6r"The Place «£. €aves'v white the Tibetans »c3ll ib-
JgarPemo-jong, or 'The Cciunticy of &sce and FHiit'as'it'
is^a granary for bleak'Tftilt." MaiRwaring^in ftt&'Dictiofiarifcij-ihe*
l$9§)i agrees; giving:the nottieti prpprium as»
mj ^or 'thecouBtrfof caves' (jVg =,apkee,a cave; a cavern;f
*earth).:/: /:/ T ... . ;..: ,-. *? s ■:. ■■■■ :- '■'


Lepdkti$ (1983)states, "Hiis region was knowniniheaHcient times

bythenameof MyeJ ^yang, which means 'the Jaftd of Ijiddfrt..

paradise' 6? 'the delightfttlsregioh or abVide'"- Sjrpibii views are"

a)sp expressed by another tepcha writer; Foning, in Lepchal M^

;.;■ Vanishing Tribe%i987% who equatesM^e? hyangvfMy, tEeGarden,

"of EJfii; Meanwhile/the-scholar Ta pan Chattqpadhyay iLepdns *

Qqd:~Tkeir Heritage, 19S3|: ihcpfppr^tes almost everything "

the very complicated : form of .spelling used. The

used Tibetan term is De(ipJQtigi Which jn Tibetan would spelt as ■kSres-lJSngs l?ut other use Gres-'gbgn (Rev. Deli a 712% Bm-wa?scJQM (Van rfe Puttfc 1730)^ and Bms-jong* Sandbergt J904).:T%)rj those unfamiliar with Tibetan^ : orthography,;it is d|fficuH to make sense out ofRiMftah translii-* e|atians. Asa. sampler, 'consider Rijstey's remarks'The Tibetan vnames for Si&Rim |r^ pKJRounced Eteijong, perridjong and . DfemqshpRg, thpughactually spelt hBTa s-jjcmgs,. lBmsjima*lJon^, ■ on,d JiBrasrgShongs, and meanThe country ^d^ valley of rice";"* •TJie:Tibet^«s^eiling is sp confounding, onecaii sympathise withSir Richard Tdfnj)fe,|hpugh not nec^sariiy comply with 1|«&. choiceoCspelSing, whenm'TitoVete. mN^palfind^ikkimilS&T},he* Fesortstothe father inaccurate Pinjing&Vid Dinfaiig.Nar r^ustbe given^hepfeee-of honour for brevity,*aecaracy

:s^fcs;;tKa|t|ie.traditional mmsU'Denjmg, or 'Valley office".

5 liv~ec| up^tdhis reputation of creating ? ^Otiteoversies by sf a^ing ihatthcvsry name of Sikfcim is *^c

f Kve'f. So far, he jias not elacjdatfedon the. matter andpne-can'OTtlys t presume, thai he/means :the ^arne ought to ,hav« beeri Sukhmfi \. instead of SiJ^iwi (see!P7s&riiiffies, WE?u|/A|Mlt995).,W*hfleGhisihg ::s doesiseem fo have thevuncan.ny genius of pulling" out an ace from» : where pone seems to exist, arid till |.e;eal%htens us,, suffice it to »say that the last wordfjhas^neifeherhbeen spoken br\vritten, . , ; i. ■....,. , -i; ~ i;' ::- ■■'■■'■■ ;■ ;. .. ., . . ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ .

'pi, $-B. Wsatgyatpmsll6s« rrMfdji^Iri J§l^aon,-West Bengal.

i ss.-. ^i- :« iS:-


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