“ bura mat dekho, bura mat suno, bura mat bolo” contradicting this mantra of the father of the nation, a gentleman followed its flip-sided mantra. Rather than running away from dreadfulness, he made it a quest to search for it instead. He travelled places, crossed rivers, just to look for chaff.
He is none other than Mr. Pradeep Sangwan, founder of the Healing Himalayas. Healing Himalayas is a non-profit organization founded in April 2016 aiming at cleaning up of the mess that has accumulated on all the places primarily the Foothills of Himalayas.
Tourism has become an increasingly important source of income and employment in parts of the Himalayas, especially Nepal. Besides sightseers, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of foreign trekkers in the lower mountain elevations, as well as in mountaineers seeking to climb Everest and the other high peaks.
Imagine yourself going on trekking in one of the Himalayan ranges. You start early in the dawn ruining your precious sleep, with your trekking shoes on one step at a time. Its still dark with a thick canopy of the forest surrounding you, only the faintest beam of the moonlight aiding you to be on your path. As you go higher on the hills, the gravel path disappears and make way through the hills, climbing and panting you struggle with the rocks. Your legs feel so heavy and you struggle for air because of high pressure on the altitude but there is only one thing on your mind and you go on.Finally two hours later, as you realize you’ve reached the top and you look around, you are mesmerized by the breathtaking view of the waterfall and the beautiful scenery surrounding it and sweet chirping of birds accompanying the sound of the serene waterfall. Just 5 minutes to go for sunrise and you are all set with your camera to capture the memory of a lifetime. The sun gradually shows up and you take amazing photos of the sunrise along with a couple of selfies.Few hours later when you are resting in your hotel room and you look into the camera for the pictures of the morning, suddenly you see few empty packets of chips and cans just at the horizon where sun meets the top of the hill. When you look closer at the waterfall, you see empty plastic bottles floating on it. Maybe you were so astonished by the beauty of the nature you could not see the garbage but now you realize that your photos are ruined and so is your memory.
Feeling disappointed yet? It is not just you but hundreds of other visitors as well who come in to seek the beauty of nature but are met with the waste and litter. But all they do is just blame others and go back with their normal lives.
But Pradeep Sangwal is an exception. He is one such a hero who left his work and devoted his life to clean up the mess in the Himalayas and helps to reduce global warming. He is originally from Haryana but moved to Himachal Pradesh in 2009 and now every year he walks 800 Kms in Himalayas to remove plastic waste.His passion has led to the formation of the healing Himalayas which is a team of many volunteers and he has left no stone unturned to add on to this team.
Once on his way to batal, he met Pawan who was a truck driver and also a shepherd. He was impressed by the cleanliness he maintains in his truck cum house and realized these are the kind of people he needs in his team who can keep their surroundings clean and make this world a better place for people to live in.
Sangwan lives by a simple ideology “pure intentions pierced into hard work” and wishes to touch as many souls as possible. He says” I am under no illusion that I will clean all the Himalayas but I have dedicated the best of me to do so.” Believing in small is beautiful and taking small steps at a time he is bringing a big change in the world and the world needs more of such change makers to help and sustain life in this planet and not just those who play the blame game and shed off their responsibilities.
Pradeep Sangwan is one such trendsetter who is inspiring the youth and the nation to maintain the beauty of the nature and not destroy it. Belonging to an Army background and having studied in Military School he inculcates the habit of discipline in the people and helps them to understand the importance of something as basic as cleanliness and sanitation.
Website: Healing Himalayas Foundation