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Sandalwood and Kamli Tribes

This week's newsletter will take you to Udaipur's Kamli Tribes, Waste Warriors cleaning up the world's highest garbage dump, and a family where the fourth generation is now practising sandalwood carving

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Urvashi Dev Rawal
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waste warriors mural

A mural by Waste Warriors to create awareness around waste management

Dear Reader,



Our pristine hill stations have become polluted and overcrowded with the rising population and the availability of transport in the toughest terrains. Even Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, has turned into a mess and is known as the world’s highest garbage dump.



However, efforts are being made to restore the natural ecosystem. An organisation that is working to transform waste generation and management in the Himalayas is Waste Warriors. Founded in 2012, the non-profit promotes responsible tourism and works with local communities to create a trash-free ecosystem in the Indian Himalayan Region, spread across 13 states and union territories over 2500km, writes my colleague Palak.



Initially, the non-profit organised community clean-ups. But seeing the severity of the problem, it now also collaborates with the government to improve solid waste collection, segregation, and management. Waste Warriors has collected over 60 lakh kg of waste in the past ten years. Palak’s story details how they achieved the feat. Do look it up.



In tribal areas of Udaipur, where water, electricity and jobs continue to be scarce, the Namrata Primary Women’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, has empowered women by training them to make high-quality embroidered handicrafts, writes my colleague Rashmi.



The women sell the products under the brand name, Kamli Tribes, which has positively impacted the lives of over 600 tribal women from Bhil, Saharia, Meena, Garasiyas, Damor and other communities in remote villages around Udaipur since 2015.  The products are sold across India both offline and online. And many young women are now self-funding their studies with income earned from working with Kamli. Inspiring! Isn’t it?



When Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited India in 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted him a ‘Krishna Pankhi’. The sandalwood artefact had ornamental work with its windows or jharokhas showing different poses of Lord Krishna. 



It was crafted by Jaipur’s 30-year-old Mohit Jangid, the fourth-generation miniature sandalwood artist in the Jangid family. Mohit told me that several decades back, his great-grandfather, Malji Jangid started sandalwood carving in Churu town in north Rajasthan. Eleven of their family members have won the national award so far. 



Their beautifully carved pieces are sought after in India and abroad and they get regular orders. But Mohit’s biggest worry is the decline in the number of sandalwood carving artisans because of which the craft faces an uncertain future. It’s time to patronize our traditional crafts in every little way possible to ensure their survival.



In our Sunday story, read about a 2,000-year-old stone pillar that was erected near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. The inscription on the pillar is also among the earliest known writings on Vaishnavism. Interestingly, it is worshipped by the local fishing communities even today. 



And in the Money section, Karan has written how you can invest and grow your money and use it as a cushion during hard times. With a choppy job market, one needs to create a savings and investment portfolio that beats inflation and grows over time. 



Happy Reading!



Warmly,

Urvashi

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How Waste Warriors cleaned up over 60 lakh kg of trash from the Himalayas

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How Kamli Tribes is empowering Udaipur’s tribal women through embroidered handicrafts

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Jaipur’s Jangid family: Custodians of Rajasthan’s exquisite sandalwood carving

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