Soft-spoken Chirag has a smile that never erases from his bright skin and a head that always nods in affirmation.
He has recently completed his Bachelors in Arts and dreams of completing his Masters in Tourism Development. Currently, he is a trekking guide and one needs to meet him to see the little child inside him juggling with euphoria every time he goes up to Pin Parvati.
“I will help you when I am around, not because you make sense to me, but because you came that far to do something for my area,” Chirag said when I shared my desire to clean the hill.
The thing about Gypsy is that you are given the freedom to make this your home. The kitchen is yours, with the basic ingredients and the whole forest section is also yours to wander about. My first encounter with Ismail, founder of the shelter home, was after a week for he was down at the nearest town bringing merchandise for sustenance. Ismail hails from Kerela and has been staying in Kalga for the past five years. His love of mountains captured him in Kalga and that is how Gypsy came into being.
Storing the waste in a unique style
Handling the waste
All the tetra packs of milk were joined together to create a “Wall of Waste”. The space was used by the youngsters of the area to learn the art of creating the waste into a resource.
It has been four months now and the work is still under progress. This journey around Himachal Pradesh started on a very hazy note but Ismail and his Gypsy house certainly made the way for me and people like me easier.
“We cannot force anyone to do anything, but we can always try to make a difference.”
Photos: Moumita Bhattacharjee
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