Friday, April 21, 2006

My field trip to the wettest place on earth

I reconnected with my good old mate and colleague from school, Peter Marbaniang when I visited his home to deliver the Hapa book sent by his cousin Karen David who is based in London. Later in the week I went for a field trip to the village near Sohra to meet the members of the Self Help Group that he has been working with for about a year. To get to the village people have to climb down 5000 steps and it takes about an hour to get to the bottom of the mountain near the river. The SHG consisting of 10 males in the village with Peter's help have been able to build a shop cum storage facility on the top of the mountain near the road side to sell the local products that they make in the village.

Peter is helping them to create market linkages for their products so as to benefit the whole village. There are about 250 people in the village and it is the most under developed one compared to others in the area. Anyway I had a great learning experience from my journey with Peter and we have decided to raise awareness about the hardship faced by the villagers and to get more support for them from the government and other concerned funders.

We also visited the office of the Khatarshnong Social Organisation (KSO) and met its dynamic founder who has made a huge impact in the development of the 46 villages in the surrounding area since he got started back in 1990. We later had lunch in the Sohra market and we were so lucky to have a beautiful clear blue sky above us with no sign of rain in the wettest place on earth. On the way back to Shillong we drove through a nature park that was inargurated by the Governor of Meghalaya recently. It was really a beautiful spot with great potential for eco tourism.

No comments: