CEE Himalaya organized an event with Valmiki Basti in Uttarkashi district of Uttarkhand to mark International Mountain Day 2015. Promoting mountain products for better livelihoods is the theme chosen for this year's celebration of International Mountain Day. The aim of the event is to invite the Valmiki community to take part in the celebration of International Mountain Day and to discuss the local environmental issues and create awareness on preservation of the environment especially in mountain ecosystems. The livelihood of majority Basti people is dependent on swine and poultry farming which consists of 10% households with toilets of their own. There is no proper drainage system in the Basti, all the sewage is drained into river. Open defecation is a common problem here along with fewer Municipality sweepers to carry out the cleaning. The celebration aimed to encourage local communities to preserve the environment by sensitizing them to mountain issues. Since the economy of the people depends primarily on tourism and agriculture, it is imperative to protect the fragile ecosystem by encouraging sustainable practices. On the occasion of International Mountain Day, community was informed about basic hygiene and sanitation measures that are essential for the community. The concept of Nirmal Ganga- Clean Ganga was also introduced to the community and actions to support this initiative were outlined with the help of community. While discussing about natural disasters, the community was also briefed on of disaster risk reduction and the importance of community participation in it.
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