Post Disaster Livelihood Restoration: Asha- Ray of Hope

Kalimath a small hamlet situated at an altitude of 1800 mtrs, close to the holy kedarnath shrine. More than a million pilgrims traverse Kalimath every year these include visitors to the Kedarnth Shrine and Kalimath itself.

These numbers continues to grow every year and so did the small businesses and enterprises around. The dependency of local population continued to increase on the religious tourism and traditional sustenance livelihood activities continued to be neglected. Many families residing close to the Yatra route migrated and settle down in and around Kalimath, leaving their fields fallow.

On June 2013 all this changed within a few hours, when disaster struck the valley. The seamless uninterrupted flow of tourists suddenly disappeared. The resultant socio-economic and psychological impact of this disaster was both immediate and long term. Anil Singh of village Kaviltha the sole bread earner of the family was at Rambara with his two mules for transporting men and material from Rambara to Kedarnath, when the disaster struck. Anil Sing was one of the 5700 victims, who presumably died in the flash floods.

Asha Rana aged twenty seven, wife of late Anil Rana was now left with two daughters Arushi & Anishka, aged eight & four, along with a mentally challenged father-in-law. Life came to a complete halt for Asha, apart from the financial losses the trauma of losing her husband at a very young left Asha devastated.

Himmotthan Society working for the hill community for over a decade could visualize the hardship and challenges faced by the community and immediately designed a work plan for relief and rehabilitation. The Uttarakhand Post Disaster Livelihood Support Project supported by the Tata Relief Committee was initiated on April 2014 with a mandate to reach out to eleven hundred vulnerable families.

The interventions designed are local that the community is familiar with. Wool and wool based enterprises were the traditional livelihoods for the hill community, however with the coming up of other textile materials, the demand for wool based products showed a decline. Under the project wool based enterprise was revived through interventions ranging from improved tools, community working space, design and market support.

The project Community moralizers identified Asha Rana and motivated her to join the Self Help Group. Asha joined the Jai Ma Kali SHG on Dec 2014 and started working on washing, grading and spinning of wool. Her familiarity with the work and the association with the Group helped her in coming out of the psychological trauma, gradually she started taking up weaving work. Asha is able to earn Rs. 1000-1500 P.M from wool based work. The Self Help Group also provides adequate financial help for immediate and pressing financial needs.

The project federated the women’s self help groups in 2016. The SHG and the federation are strong community institutions, which are not only helping Asha to overcome the psychological trauma, but also helping them rebuild their lives through revival of traditional livelihoods.

Today Asha not only supports her family but plays an active role in the federations wool based enterprise.

Himmotthan Head Office

193, Vasant Vihar, Phase-2

Behind Shri Guru Ram Rai Public School


Uttarakhand, India - 248006

Contact Number : (0135)- 2760728, 2761796

Himmotthan WATSAN Office

41, Vasant Vihar, Phase-2


Uttarakhand, India - 248006

Contact Number : (0135)- 2762966

Himmotthan Regional Offices
1. Kumaun Region-Almora

(Mohalla Talla Galli, Jakhan Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand India, 263609)

2. Garhwal Region Office- Chamoli

Near Petrol Pump, Gopeshwar,District Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India

3. Garhwal Region Office- Jadipani

Gram Saud, Jadipani, Chamba Block, District Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India

4. Himmotthan Society/Tata Trusts PMU Leh

C/o Advocate Otsal Wangdus near Postal Colony
Housing Colony Leh - 194101 (Ladakh), India
Tel: 01982-253553

Designed and Developed by MIS UNIT HIMMOTTHAN