Eco- tourism promotion for sustainable livelihood of the forest villagers

Posted by BABIT GURUNG on August 21, 2011

Forum Post

Samsing Chauthary (NGO)


A group of nature conservationists, social welfare and activists for environmental support with involvement of the community basically responsible for the role of it’s efficient implementation not only for the bio-diversity but the culture and tradition which indirectly has a great impact in the ecology. We seek for the ways in the form of options addressing ecological, technological, and socio-economic and market constraints along with environmental studies which will in the long run be an aid for nature conservation along with the development of the community and achieve the result in form of collective effort for saving environment. We not only create the factors for the realization concerning to save the environment but develop and create  the alternative sources of employment and income at all level with a focus on poverty eradication rather than just on economic growth.


To save the environment and it’s aspects concerning to the ecological balance along with the certainty of the economical development of the community favoring the conservation in form of their physical, mental, cultural and traditional support.


To create alternative livelihood development for the people closest to the natural resources for conserving the biological diversity in the eco- system as it has been observed that reliance on regulatory approaches is a factor that seldom works cause every possible change are often shaped by human forces therefore conservation can only be successful with the involvement of the people closest to the resources. Hence the main objective is to create projects which will aim to improve the living conditions of the rural communities which can offer alternative sources of employment and income in every aspect.


Set against the sweeping landscapes of foothills of Himalayas veiled with green beauty of evergreen forest whose mysteries are yet to be discovered, sloping down and amalgamating with beauty of tea gardens of terai regions, The place has it’s own axiomatic sight of snow covered highlands of the Himalayas towards north and vast plains of terai touching the horizon towards south. The place spreading over a large area in the civil district of Darjeeling under Kalimpong Sub-Division covers several small villages. It is also an entry point to Neora ValleyNational Park for nature trekkers to unveil the unexplored terrain of the virgin forest and it’s rich diverse flora and fauna together. 


The place is just 69 kms from Jalpaiguri and 70 kms from Siliguri. National highway 31 connects Siliguri and Chalsa. There are district roads, which connects Samsing. Buses, private cars, are available from Siliguri to Samsing. Journey time from Siliguri to Samsing is about 2 hours 30 minutes. Nearest railway station to Samsing is New Jalpaiguri but one can avail local train and get a drop at Chalsa railway station, which is just 20 kms away. The altitude of the place ranges from 200m to 3200m. The place receives heavy rainfall during summer season making it hot wet summer and dry winters. The inhabitation started around the year 1912 in the place with merely few tribes like Bhujels, Lepchas, Rai, Mangar, Tamang, Giri, Pradhan, Sherpas and many other tribes. The common language of the area is Nepali also known as Gorkhali, a colloquial version of pure Nepali mostly spoken by the people of Darjeeling District. The place has been divided into two parts under the same name, one is Samsing Tea Garden which is under the province of Duars (District Jalpaiguri) and the other is Samsing Busty which covers several small villages in the civil district of Darjeeling under Kalimpong Sub-Division. There are 13 villages named after the majority of inhabitants or the nature of the place. The names of the villages areSunderbusty, Compound, Lower GhumtiUpper GhumtiLower BhaluKhopUpper Bhalukhop,Lower TeenkateryUpper Teenkatery, Chipley Dara, Mandal Gaon, Bhujel Gaon, Sherpa Gaon and Fari. The central place for all the villages is known as Fari. 


Located in a valley between two rivers Suntaley and Moorty it is the central place for all the villagers and Tourists to enter Neora ValleyNational Park and avail other tourism facilities. The place comprises of several attractive places like Suntaleykhola, Bhotey Dara etc. One can avail the adventure of Home Tourism and come closer to the regional culture and tradition of the place along with the natural lusciousness of the foothills of Himalayas and catch the glimpse of wildlife of Neora Valley National Park.

The Village:

With more than 150 houses with sloping roofs the village was named 97 years ago when few families started inhabitation by using the land for agricultural purpose. The main crops they grew were millet, paddy and maize. It was during 70’s when forest department started their huge project for construction of ropeway, which was to be used for lumbering as most of the virgin forests were inaccessible for the same. The ropeway at the time was one of the longest ropeways in Asia with it’s reach till the altitude of 1170m –2058m. There were two points setup for the purpose of sale of timbers, one was the loading point at the place called Dhappar in Machuki and the other at the village calledUnloading Paakha named for the same reason. Unfortunately the saga of this ropeway could not last for long as during the agitation which took place in hills on 1986 it was totally abandoned and still it’s remains exists in the village in remembrance of it’s huge earnings to the forest department. Besides all this features the place also is surrounded by Neora Valley National Park, henceforth an entry to the wilderness zone.  


A substantial population of the village belongs to Tribes mostly Nepalese like Sherpas. The villagers commonly worship a single Goddess of forest and hence they protect the animals and plants and help in the conservation of forest. Most of the people of village serve The Indian Army joining as Gurkha soldiers in the Gurkha Regiment which has its fame all over the world for its bravery and honesty.People also grow cash crops like Cardamom, Ginger and fruits likeOranges as their occupation for livelihood. They also grow Paddy, Millet and Maize and continue the heritage of their ancestors by sowing the same breed of seeds they had started with like the breed of the rice they grow is called Zeerasari in local language which has it’s uniqueness because of it’s aroma and taste. They follow various religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.



Neora valley national park is one of the last remaining pristine ecosystems of the eastern Himalayas with its amazing bio-diversity and home to many endangered plants, animals and birds. The area comprises the catchments and watershed of Neora River and its tributaries. The land of cute Red panda in its pristine undisturbed natural habitat with its rugged inaccessible hilly terrain together makes the park an important wilderness zone.The significance of the park lies in the fact that it provides shelter to many species included in the Red Data book of IUCN and the appendices of CITES. The park harbors more than 31 species of mammals like Red Panda, Clouded Leopard, Mithun, Ghoral, Wild Dog, Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Thar, Leopard Cat and the Royal Bengal Tiger. The dense nature of the forest bars the easy sighting of animals.

Arts And Crafts

The influence of the  tradition of different tribes and with modern education and understanding of fine arts today’s youngsters have developed a not so different but a fusion of modern arts and contemporary arts not letting the dexterity of their forefathers perish. Not only handicrafts but with their artistic vision they also seek and have a collection of various crafts with their unique shape carefully crafted by the creative hands of mother nature which gives us a realization of it’s supremacy on artificial beauty. On their way to reveal nature a group of youngsters are also trying to help the nature to maintain it’s beauty by banning the use of plastics and conducting environment awareness classes on all the schools of the locality and taking out processions along with clearing all the pollution causing wastes.

  Paintings and garments

The place also is gifted with some self-trained painters whose paintings describe human emotions in form of lines and textures. The paintings are motivational and leaves a message of spiritual guidance also some of the paintings describe the dark and bright side of man. The paintings are not with professional touch but it does have a deep emotional touch. We can also find some collection of a trained fashion designer who has made a fusion of cultural wears and modern fashion.

                                       Home Tourism

Being tired of enjoying the stay in some luxurious room with all the same items of cuisines described in the menu one can avail the homely environment with the traditional family and find a totally new feeling of getting to know the regional food habits, chance to exchange the customs and tastes, and give hand to their daily work with togetherness. It will be a pleasure to be a guest in a family sharing their different way of hospitality along with being a part of their daily life in the coziness of a family life. If at day time one can enjoy the adventure of trekking in national park or adjoining villages then at night a cultural program with items like bonfire, cultural dance and at last a feast with regional drinks and cuisines. At an affordable expense it will be a profitable tour which will save a moment of your life in your happy memories, and will be a refreshment of all the stress of a busy life when will be back to the work.

                   Leisure activities

With the launch of modern equipments for daily use in household activities the equipment used to solve the same purpose by our ancestors have been on their way to extinct. Therefore it’ll be a extraordinary pleasure to get the chance to have a look of collection of those antiquities which are still in use in some families of the village and are kept securely as a remembrance of the villagers. There are many activities like trekking, fishing, and swimming at a natural pool of mountainous river in blue transparent water for leisure activities one can chose.


•For all the nature lovers and explorers this place may be a paradise with it’s both the features of social and wild life. For the people who may not be able to cover long distances with perseverance for the wild obstacles can avail shorter routes through tribal villages and get the adventure of village trekking. Axiomatically for wild discoverers the place will be one of the best regions in India to unveil the virgin forest of Neora Valley National Park; the pine clad winding roads, the dense bamboos, the colorful birds. The different routes for wild trek are: a) Samsing Fari – Mauchuki – Samsing Fari, b) Samsing Fari – Bhotey Kharka (halt) – Samsing Fari. The different routes for village trek are: a) Samsing Fari – Bhujel Gaon – Gumba Dara – Samsing Fari. One has to obtain entry permit before entering national park from wildlife department but it’s not applicable if Chauthary group escorts one as we work in co-operation with the wildlife department.  

Chauthary Home stays, Being tired of enjoying the stay in some luxurious room with all the same items of cuisines described in the menu one can avail the homely environment with the traditional family and find a totally new feeling of getting to know the regional food habits, chance to exchange the customs and tastes, and give hand to their daily work with togetherness. It will be a pleasure to be a guest in a family sharing their different way of hospitality along with being a part of their daily life in the coziness of a family life. If at day time one can enjoy the adventure of trekking in national park or adjoining villages then at night a cultural program with items like bonfire, cultural dance and at last a feast with regional drinks and cuisines. At an affordable expense it will be a profitable tour which will save a moment of your life in your happy memories, and will be a refreshment of all the stress of a busy life when will be back to the work.

It’s an effort to provide alternative livelihood opportunity to the people residing near the natural resources which will not only save environment with their support but will also provide a totally new experience to the nature and adventure lovers.

Bhujel's home stay ( Ethnic)
We have wide range of destinations with different communities and places with different culture and taste. We’ve covered the areas like RONGO, SAMSING FARI AND PAREN, so one can choose any place for exploring the difference.

We not only have classified the types of stay but the activities where one can make their stay as per our classification like as follows.

1. REST PACKAGE: - Under this range come the  silent seekers who want a memorable break out of their busy workaholic life. We do not have any adventure activities under such package. You can just enjoy the natural beauty of the place and rest. But we do provide the local organic food served and cooked in the regional way with a different taste.

DOUBLE BEDDED ETHNIC ROOM – RS 600.00 (unit-1) + fooding
DOUBLE BEDDED DELUXE ROOM – RS 1000 (unit-2) +fooding
DOUBLE BEDDED SUPER DELUXE ROOM – RS 1200 (unit-3) + fooding

2. ADVENTURE PACKAGE:- This package is for the adventure lovers who want to experience it for the first time along with the natural beauty. The activities included in such package are as follows

*Short wild trek of 2 miles with a guide
*Mountain bike ride for 2 hours.
*Bon fire at night.
*Naturopathy herbal massage therapy by a therapist.


STUDY PACKAGE :- This package is for the hard core explorers who study the nature like the bird watchers ,butter fly watchers, and botanists for whom we provide special trained guides who’ll accompany them for whole tour.


CHAUTHARY TRANSPORT , We also have involved the locals for transport facility for our guests where we have trained local drivers and  comfortable vehicles for sight seeing and pick and drop for which the charges can be known on request which will depend upon the destination.  

Chauthary is a group of nature lovers  and social workers on their way to save nature with the involvement of it’s inhabitants leaving a message to join hands and support those people who actually are the savers of nature providing them a alternative livelihood opportunity in which we do need your kind support and suggestion. For details please leave your comments on community tourism at

Please contact the the undersigned for further queries:-
Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137
                                                                 Regn.No S/1L/79108


Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137
                                                                 Regn.No S/1L/79108


E-Governance for Conservation

Aadma - an unveiled abode of nature

Posted by BABIT GURUNG on August 20, 2011

Forum Post
Aadma - An unveiled abode of nature
Rajabhatkhawa / Jayanti - Buxa Tiger reserve

14 kms of wavy terrains filled with green lusciousness of Buxa Tiger Reserve forest, with the murmur of sweet chants of the streams, chirps of birds and flash of butterfly will reach you to one of the most remote in-habitations on earth - Aadma. The place reminds us of the ancient lifestyle of nomadic cultures. The most attractive and also the most pitiful thing of these unknown paradise are the smiling and innocent faces of this place. The tribe 'Dukpa' of these places live a nomadic life with their families.
Most of the months are spent in forest for cattle grazing and when the rainy season approaches, they all gather in the village to share their wild experience. The place is isolated from all the rightful facilities of health, education, sanitation, transportation and every basic needs a community requires in today's age. It sounds quiet absurd knowing that the place is under the jurisdiction of Indian Govt. Precisely, if asked, hardly any one would give you the name of the country and state they live in. The thatched roofs, and huge wooden houses prove their sole reliability to the natural resources they live in. 

They hardly care about the concerning issue of ecological imbalance and live in a world of their own. The innocent wrinkled faces of experienced villagers recite the way of their livelihood which will certainly bring the fact of globalized world into the circle of doubtful impressions. A couple may have children more than 12 in numbers.India is taking strict measure on population control but it's centralized policies hardly reach to the senses of these innocent people who are scared to face the reality of civilized world. People die like their cattle, hats off to their positive attitude, hardly a mark of complain is seen on their faces. Their hearts are as big as their houses which have been built by the processed wood. 

As the people practice Jhoom farming, a method of farming mainly practiced by the nomadic people as they do not stay in one place, they do require some knowledge regarding farming to make them settle at one place.
We the  intellectuals, philosophers , nature conservationists, boast about our works and complain about our unsatisfied demands to the whole world, whole life. These chastened smiles have no complains as they are thankful to the nature who provide them with all the minimum requirement of necessities of life. 

It's a call for all the nature lovers to raise hands to support these community which will also save the nature. The main objective should be to provide a sustainable livelihood to these people along with the provision of education and health benefits. These areas are full of resources to be utilized, with its incredible beauty of flora and fauna. The rest can only be experienced by availing their warm hospitality and cozy shelter.

The nature lovers can go for a short moderate trek through Santal Barie, a forest village inRajabhatkhawa, all the arrangements can be availed at theSantal barie village with experience guide and potters. The trip will certainly leave you with unforgettable memories of the colourful butterflies, medicinal plants, birds and if lucky enough, the sight of a wild animal and above all the smiling faces of Dukpas of these remote places.

The tariff details:

The prices below includes ;
1.Transportation (pick and drop from the desired nearest railway station) 
2. One night's food and lodging at Santalbarieforest village

3. Trekking expenses including porter, guide and food 
4. Home stay at Aadma along with food.
5. Local tea garden sight seeing through vehicle.

 2 person ( 2nights three days) 
= Rs 8000 (4000X 2 )

4 peson ( 2 nights three days)
= Rs 12000 ( 3000x 2)

(special concession will be given for the students, scholars and researchers and also to the group with more than 4 person)

It is an endless effort of our group - Samsing Chauthary in collaboration with Yuganter parivar to promote this place initially under the concept of social eco tourism, whatever the revenue generated from you contributions as a traveler will be utilized for the economic benefit of these communities)
For registration please contact  through email or phone at :c

Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137
Regn.No S/1L/79108

"Support Aadma,
Support nature"

Climate change and Global Warming

High altitude wetlands of western Arunachal Pradesh

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 20, 2011

Forum Post

The presence of Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) from Arunachal
Pradesh is known so far but there was no information on the breeding ecology of this species from the high altitude wetlands of western Arunachal
Pradesh. So, far in India eastern Ladakh and Sikkim is the only two
known high altitude breeding site of this species in conjunction with
selected sites in Nepal and Bhutan (BirdLife International, 2011).

Arunachal Pradesh, WWF-India team has done the first photographic and
videographic documentation of a breeding pair of Ruddy shell duck along
with 7 ducklings on 29th June 2011 from Tsomgo Ama wetland situated at
an altitude of 4535 m altitude covering an area of 0.27 sq. km. within
Thembang Bapu Community Conserved Area Wetland Complex, West Kameng district.

Corporates and Environment

Mining for fossil fuel and diamonds

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 18, 2011

Forum Post

In a world of rising energy prices, rising global temperatures, and rising sea levels, Americans are calling for clean and affordable energy. Yet under the influence of big energy companies, policy-makers are stubbornly clinging to the old, dirty fossil fuel technologies of the past. Along with global warming, mountaintop removal is an egregious example of the destructive impact of our addiction to coal.

Any other

Adarsh Gaon Yojana

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 17, 2011

Forum Post

----------Jamrunmahali is part of the Adarsh Gaon Yojana (AGY), Maharashtra’s Ideal Village Scheme, made famous by its patron activist Anna Hazare​, and practicable by its charismatic figurehead, Popatrao Pawar, sarpanch (village council head) of Hiware Bazar, Ahmednagar. The scheme has been running since the 1990s in Hazare’s hometown, Ralegan Siddhi, and nearby Hiware Bazar, but Jamrunmahali is one of the newer recruits to the project.

--In the absence of groundwater, local women would have to walk 2km to fetch water during winter. Ninety-eight per cent of the population would migrate from the village seasonally. “The village was a sort of punishment posting for government servants,” Pawar says, describing a community alcohol addiction so bad that teachers would be found getting drunk with their students during lessons. “Families would marry a daughter off with a bottle of booze as dowry.” --

------------To provide the out-of-work villagers with employment, Pawar approached the forest planning department and implemented a tree-planting scheme in the hills around the village. “We ensured that the money came to us to help the local people,” he says. In the process, the new trees would help prevent further soil erosion and retain water in the rocky soil. In 1992, the state government announced AGY for 350 blocks. Hiware Bazar was quick to apply and became the designated ideal village for its block. It began to access funds for education, roads and sanitation. --------



Rescue Tortoise & Giving Shelter to them

Posted by Siddharth Mehta on August 10, 2011

Forum Post
Hello Friends, 

Me and my friends have started a small home based adopting and rescuing the tortoise and turtle. The main aim behind this is to support the species and stop them from getting away from our life. I got huge space to accommodate more then 100 Tortoise and we do have one doctor looking after them. Right now we do have some but all are males and i am looking to bring some females for their company  :-) Kindly help me as much you all can. 

Thanks for reading.


Urban Wildlife

The season of yellows

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 09, 2011

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The labernum is in full bloom announcing the summer season ahead.  Labernum is native to India and is venerated by Indians as a "lucky charm".  The pretty dangling flowers cannot be missed where labernum grows as avenue trees or as a tree welcoming one to a house.

Another tree, the silver oak (Grevillea robusta)an exotic from Australia which is now very popular in urban parks, also blooms.  Very few take notice, as the blooms quickly transform to seeds.  A fact which is least known about this tree is that its flowers and seeds are known to cause dermatatis.  The flowers are golden-orange washing brush like blooms and are toxic.

The ground is awash with yellow blooms as soon as it rains.  Pretty lilies bloom to welcome the short rainy season in these parts.

The yellow and white butterflies are common now. 

Not so common, is the yellow lemon pansy.

The birds are busy nesting and bringing up new chicks to feed in the abundance of the rainy season. The bulbul decides to make her nest just outside our main door, on a Christmas tree.  She has been very clever.  The tree pie is on the look out for eggs every day morning and one day we woke up to bulbul cries.  Luckily the nest attacked was not the one near the door, but the one on a ficus tree outside the gate, on the main road.  Her nest is resting on a branch near the wall of our house.  No big bird can reach it.  The height is such that the prowling alley cat will not jump at it either.  But every time someone comes out of the house, the male or female(they take turns) sitting on the nest is disturbed and flies out to the nearest tree.

We are honoured at the trust imposed by the bulbul in us. 

When the little chick flew out for the first time leaving the nest vacant, we celebrated.

  Methi (Fenugreek) is flowering too and attracts honey bees on the yellow flowers

Bye bye season of yellows till next time!


10 New species of frogs!

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 06, 2011

Forum Post

A team headed by Dr Anil Zachariah, a renowned scientist, has discovered 10 new species of frogs from the hill ranges of Southern Western Ghats with the help of Zoological Survey of India. 

“These findings show that Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot of the world still has many new species of amphibians,” Dr.Zachariah told Deccan Chronicle.



Friendship of elephants

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 06, 2011

Forum Post

Study author Dr Shermin de Silva from the University of Pennsylvania said: ‘Elephants are able to track one another over large distances by calling to each other and using their sense of smell.

‘So the “herd” of elephants one sees at any given time is often only a fragment of a much larger social group.

‘Our work shows that they are able recognize their friends and renew these bonds even after being apart for a long time.’

Read more:

Environment Awareness

Nag Panchami

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 04, 2011

Forum Post

Read Nirmal's Kulkarni's Blog on Nag Panchami at

Here is a useful quote
The recommended First Aid protocol for Snake bite as practiced today follows the below mentioned points
• Reassure the victim who may be very anxious and scared.
• Immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or sling (any movement or muscular contraction increases absorption of venom into the bloodstream.
• Consider Pressure immobilization for bites by elapid snakes only like the Indian Cobra and the Indian krait including sea snakes but should not be used for viper bites because of the danger of increasing the local effects of the necrotic venom. There is considerable debate of which technique to be used and I have personally found the use of a local compression pad applied over the wound pressure bandaging of the entire limb to be very effective.
• Avoid any interference with the bite wound as this may introduce infection, increase absorption of the venom and increase local bleeding.
· The patient must be transported to a place where they can receive medical care (dispensary or hospital) as quickly, but as safely and comfortably as possible. Any movement, especially of the bitten limb, must be reduced to an absolute minimum to avoid increasing the systemic absorption of venom. If possible the patient should not be allowed to walk and carried with the help of a stretcher or bed or sitting on a chair, etc.

And lastly remember, Polyvalent Anti Snake venom Serum is the only effective remedy for a venomous snakebite in India........

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