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About HPSS – Campaign and Development Organization

Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand

 Campaigning against deforestation.

HPSS is a small ngo, working mainly in the Uttarkashi district in Uttarkhand. HPSS helps villagers with afforestation, waterharvesting and building checkdams against erosion. It supports village schools and women groups. It raises awareness about child labour. It does research in the villages and writes reports about the problems caused by dams and tunnel projects and motivates villagers to campaign against it.

From an HPSS report: "Himalyee Paryavaran Shiksha Sansthan (HPSS) is a voluntary organization based at Matli in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and has dedicated itself towards improving the quality of life of the Himalayan people and its environment.

It started its work in the villages that are part of the catchment area of Jalkur River which meets Bhagirathi (Ganga) river upstream of (old) Tehri where Bhagirathi meets Bhilangana River and just downstream of this is the sight of Tehri dam. The catchment of Jalkur River is spread over Uttarkashi and Tehri districts.

HPSS focuses bulk of its energies in motivating village communities, for environment protection and conservation and also takes up various development programs for the benefit of dalits, poor and underprivileged sections of society and gives special emphasis on women and child upliftment. HPSS has been campaigning and networking for various environment and forest related issues, and this is being done with the active support of women groups.

 Safe drinking water in the villages.

(..) Earthquake in our region is considered the most damaging among natural disasters because people are not aware of it before hand. Floods also affect some region, where it is not expected. Sometimes due to sudden heavy rain, some portion of mountains along with trees, mud and stones fall into the river and give birth to a massive flood causing damage to the watershed regions.

(..) Human beings have also created many problems for themselves and Nature as well. Deforestation, mining and construction of big dams and damaging of natural water springs through hand pump installation generate disaster situation.
After any disaster some relief and rehabilitation work is initiated by local and outside support, like distribution of food, clothing, and essential materials for shelter. But the most affected population of any disaster is unfortunately not adequately addressed.

(..) Renowned geologist James N. Brun says that construction of the Tehri dam is in between two big earthquake cracks, and is not strong enough to withstand any earthquake of 7.2 rector scales or more."

Fragments from the HPSS paper Earthquake, Landslide, Floods and Children in Himalayas.

Go to the next page: making the forest act alive - Dalit activist
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Go to: overview articles and photo series Uttarakhand Center

Photos: Peasant Autonomy - Creative Commons