Granny Gang
Thirteen brave indigenous grandmothers from all over the world join hands to seek solutions to world problems, reports Vibhor Mohan

For residents of McLeodganj, it was a time to spare a thought for mother earth, earlier this week. And leading them in finding a solution to the problems facing the world were 13 grandmothers, who boasted of a collective wisdom gained over 850 years. The occasion was the fourth international conference of the International Council of Indigenous Grandmothers.

The idea was simple: mother earth is angry due to the widespread destruction caused by us and needs to get healed, for which we need to prey, over and over again.

“Wherever we go, we involve the local communities in praying for world peace and spread awareness about the significance of abiding by the laws of nature so that the next seven generations inherit the same environment as we did,” said Beatrice Long Visitor, South Dakota, USA.

The 13 Indigenous grandmothers come from all over the world --the Arctic Circle, North, South and Central America, Africa, and Asia, arrived at Tibet House's Menla Mountain Retreat amidst 340 acres of forests, fields and streams in upstate New York.

The 13 grandmothers have set out to prove that it’s only a mother can feel the plight of another mother. Little wonder, it all started with a prophesy ringing in their ears to get together to find ways to revive the traditions, rituals, and medicines, which would not only preserve our cultural heritage but would also help in saving earth’s environment.

It was on October 11,2004, that 13 grandmothers from around all the world – the Arctic Circle, North, South, and Central America, Africa, and Asia, arrived at Tibet House's Menla Mountain retreat in Phoenicia, New York for the first Global Grandmothers' Council.

Their teachings represent the universal morality against which we measure our actions, and it provided an example of bringing together the most ancient and modern ways in which women can organise, both personally and politically, to preserve their cultures and take care of the future.

“The earthquakes and floods causing destruction in different parts of the world are a result of the fact that we have made the mother earth angry by breaking its laws. That is why we are out to spread the message of world peace and pray for the mother earth, said Flordamsyo from Amazonia Rainforest, Brazil.

Tsering Dolma Gyaltong, Tibetan, said, “According to the Buddhist philosophy, the welfare of others is more important than self. We have taken upon ourselves to play the crucial role that mothers play in the lives of children.”

“The grandmothers are both women of prayer and women of action. Their traditional ways link them with the forces of the earth. Their solidarity with one another creates a web to rebalance the injustices wrought from an imbalanced world; a world disconnected from the fundamental laws of nature and the original teachings based on a respect for all of life,” said an organiser.

The conference was hosted by Tibetan GrandmotherTsering Dolma Gyaltong, who was one of the founding members who revived the Tibetan Women's Association (TWA). She was instrumental in setting up of over 30 branch offices of the association worldwide. In 1995, Tsering Dolma attended the Fourth World Women's Conference held in Bejing, China. She now resides in Toronto and remains as an advisor to the TWA.

The conference was organised in collaboration with the Tibetan Women’s Association and a large number of locals also participated. It also acted as a platform for cultural exchange between delegates from different parts of the world.

Princess of France, Constance De Polignac was also present at the conference. She is the Ambassador of the International Council of Thirteen Indegenous Grandmothers.

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A picture of apathy
Ambika Sharma

The school building at Chail which was built by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh shows the signs of ageing
PRESENT IMPERFECT: The school building at Chail which was built by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh shows the signs of ageing. — Photo by the writer

It was a social cause, which had prompted the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala Yadavindra Singh to donate a building for running a school at Chail in 1911. Little did he know that this historic building would face the worst ever apathy by receiving virtually no funds for its repair from the state government. The building has started showing signs of crumbling with time with one of its foundation pillar developing a crack.

Constructed in 1911 by the Maharaja of Patiala the building along with the surrounding campus was donated to the local community by him. It has been housing a Senior Secondary School where pupils from far-flung panchayats, including some in Shimla district, also seek education.  They include panchayats of Sakori, Chail, Bajai, Jhhaja, Magali, Dhangil, Hinner and Janedghat.

Worried at the appalling state of this building the local residents approached the power minister Ms Vidya Stokes who visited the area in 2004.  A deputation had requested her to sanction some funds for its upkeep. The PWD prepared an estimate of Rs 2,33,656 to carry out the requisite repair and renovation. Despite directing the district administration to sanction this sum at the earliest the residents still await release of any funds.

More than 450 students study here. The school was a renowned sports hub, which produced famed sportsmen. Despite the bad condition of the building during the rainy season no funds have been sanctioned for its repair alleged a villager from Bharech. He lamented that owing to its poor condition the old students of the school as well as the principal had requested Power Minister Vidya Stokes to grant some funds for its repair during her visit in 2004. She had directed the Deputy Commissioner to sanction a sum of Rs 2,33,656 after the PWD gave an estimate. But till date no funds have been sanctioned.

The sanctioned grant was never forwarded even after the PWD submitted the estimate allege the villagers. Today this centre for learning is crumbling under the severe negligence of the authorities. It is mere political consideration that the grant has been held up rued the locals. They add that such public interest activities should at least be kept away from petty politics.

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HIllside view
Love the rainbow, love the state…
by Vepa Rao

When was the last time you watched quietly, say for thirty minutes, the glorious sight of the evening sun melting away behind a wavy hill-range? Those changing hues, the twittering birds? A serenity, a sublime feeling all of its own? Probably not in recent times - unless your balcony is so positioned, or you were so situated at that time purely by chance.

Probably, you have not even walked a mile or two in recent months specially to enjoy the generous offerings of nature here.

Living in this beautiful state, we tend to take its bounty for granted. We tend to care less for things available in plenty. There was an expression --"he spends money like water". Try using it in most parts of the country, especially in summers! One day, the virus of consumerism (those monstrous shopping malls!) may even breed stuff like--"he spends water like money`85"

The fate of drinking water is extending to the other aspects of nature too. Ugly high-rise constructions have begun to hide the slanting sun and the full face of the rising moon. Nervous birds twittering in fear are replacing the playful sort. The infamous Duhssasan of Draupadi fame could learn a few things by watching us denude the forest cover effectively. If the trend continues, and the hill slopes get relentlessly flattened, what will be the difference between this and the plains?

Tourists come from thousands of miles away, stay for a few days, and talk about their visit to Himachal for years. They mention the inadequacies here-- but still crow about the same sunsets, the colourful play of clouds with their lower layers slowly submerging the tree-tops, buildings, pedestrians`85

But we, blessed with residence here, are losing our love for nature's bounty. We want to protect environment -- merely for the sake of our physical survival. Such a limited view, devoid of love for the dynamic canvas and dimensions of nature, cannot take us far. A good environment is not merely one without air and other pollutions-- it should inspire, touch the strings of our heart. Like a rainbow in the sky does.

Even if we love nature as much as we love this land of gods and goddesses, doing nothing for its upkeep is sinful.

An incident comes to mind. A very senior IAS officer of the state called on the chief of a corporation (very closely known to me) in Delhi seven years ago. They discussed a big project for setting up some centres in Himachal. Our officer's voice became "thick, hoarse and oily" with sentiment as he went on telling the corporation chief how much he loved the state and how much he wanted "to do things for my people".

The corporation chief offered to fund the project and asked for a detailed proposal at the earliest. The officer, "his voice still choked with sentiment", promised to send it in a fortnight and went away. For months, there was neither a proposal nor even a call from the sentimental officer-- despite a couple of polite reminders from the corporation.

"What kind of officers do you have?" the corporation chief accosted me as he narrated this episode at Himachal Bhawan, Dehi. The project of course went to another state, but the officer has "marrowed" good postings for himself! Can you guess who he is!

What's the use of merely crowing about our love for the state if we don't put that love into action?

Each time we cross Parwanoo and move towards Chandigarh or Delhi, we start wondering whether the journey was necessary at all. First the ruckus of motor vehicles and their horns hits the ear. Then the sight of crowded roads, footpaths, lined by rows and clusters of shops and houses unsettles the eye.

The nose? The less said the better. I carry an anti-allergic drug, paracetamol, and a vaporub -- that's what my Himachali doctor in Delhi prescribes (along with steam inhalation) for the inevitable fever, bad throat etc that visit some on their second day in the capital. So profound is the pollution there. We recover, equally unfailingly, on getting back to Shimla.

The mind also recovers. How we gasp in relief each time we re-enter the hills! But how, minutes later, the mind returns to empty bickering and petty manipulation!

At your fingertips!

Ladies, please stop and look at your fingers. Is your ring finger longer than the index finger? That means you have musical skills, and are quicker on your feet, capable of winning races.

You will excel in sports, especially those involving running--like soccer, hockey and tennis. You are also more likely to be "butch" (dressing and behaving more like men)-- and "prone to heart-related ailments".

Professor Tim Spector of the famous St Thomas Hospital, London, who had initially dismissed all this as "rubbish", has tested these notions and confirmed them in the British Journal of Sports Medicine recently (according to The Independent).Utilising a large data-base on twins he has been studying for 20 years, he examined x-rays of 607 female twins between 25 and 79 years of age and compared the lengths of their index and ring fingers. He thinks it is linked to hormone levels (of testosterone) in the womb. Well, some food for thought.

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 shimla diary
Spoil-sport Moon
Rakesh Lohumi

Photo by Anil Dayal The weather god spoiled the day for the wedded women on Karva Chauth, a traditional Hindu festival of feasting and fasting, which has over the years come to acquire a special significance for the “queen of hills”.

Attired in their bridal best the women assembled on the historic Ridge for the biggest ‘unorganized’ congregation to have a glimpse of the rising moon. However, they had to return disappointed as a thick cloud covered the sky. After waiting in vain for about two hours late in the evening they gave up.

Over the years it has become a tradition for the local women to converge on the Ridge, which is transformed into a huge Karva Chauth “angan”, to pay obeisance to moon on the big day collectively. Located in the heart of the city, the elevated ground is a vantage point from where the moon is visible much earlier than the low-lying areas like the Lower Bazar, Ruldu Bhatta, Lal Pani, Kanhlog and Kaithu. The Ridge, where a number of spurs join, actually divides the watershed of the Satluj and Yamuna basins, the water from which flows down to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, respectively.

Photo by Anil DayalAs the sun sets in the west and darkness descends on the hills, women of all ages make a beeline for the Ridge with ‘puja thalis’ in their hands. The city witnesses an informal fashion parade as hordes of women draped in shimmering saris, colourful bridal suits and other attractive apparel and laden with glittering jewellery, stroll through the Mall and the scandal point to assemble on the Ridge.

There is a riot of colour as women vie with each other in showing off their expensive but elegant wears. By the time the silver disc makes its appearance on the eastern horizon from behind the Ellysium hill, every inch of the ground is occupied. Thousands of resplendent oil lamps add to the glitter as women offer prayers and perform ‘arti’ of the celestial Lord to seek blessings for the long life, well-being and prosperity of their spouses. The en masse offering of water during the prayer gives a thorough wash to the Ridge.

While no one exactly knows when this tradition of celebrating the festival on the Ridge started, old-timers recall that it was sometime around Independence that women started converging on the ground for an early ‘darshan’ of the moon. During the British days, an average Indian, particularly women, did not come to the posh Mall and the Ridge at all. At that time, it was the sole privilage of the ‘phirangi sahibs’ and ‘mem sahibs’ and a few ‘begums and ranis’ to take a stroll in these elite areas. The Indian women broke into the exclusive preserve of the ‘whites’ just before Independence and no one objected as the British, who were on their way out, chose to lie low.

Divali-damper

A poor apple crop has come as a damper on the divali festivities. The growers have to content with a lean season after four consecutive bumper crops. The harvesting is almost over and only 1,17 crore boxes of fruit have been sent to various markets from the state. The total production will be only around 1.30 crore standard boxes as against 2.65 crore boxes last year.

Poor returns for growers mean low-key divali festivities as they could not afford to go on the usual purchasing spree. The returns from apple orchards is mostly utilised by them to acquire consumers durables during the festival season. The ultimate losers will be the businessmen who eagerly wait for the season to sell their wares ranging from high luxury cars to latest household gadgets like refrigerators, television sets, microwave cookers and, of course, expensive jewellery.

The procurement of apple under the market intervention scheme was also on the lower side. Even the state-owned HPMC has been finding it difficult to get enough fruit for processing. It is now planning to get fruit from Jammu and Kashmir.

Colour me Red

The coat of red on the roofs painted under the orders of the High Court has transformed the looks of the old neglected cluster of houses in the main town beyond recognition. The tourists who earlier complained about the ‘slum like’ appearance could be seen clicking photographs next to the Oberoi Clarkes with the collage of red roofs in the backdrop.

The city which looked beautiful only after sunset when darkness covered its ugly face and glittering lights made it appear as if a part of the star-studded sky was leaning on it. How far the cosmetic looks help in concealing the ‘real face’ only time will tell. The ‘make up’ has at least made it presentable in the day.

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 Preamble of a book
Vijay Arora

Dr J.N. Barowalia, District and Session Judge, is known for his books on emerging legal topics. His latest project is an in-depth study of the Right to Information Act (RTI) and presenting a comprehension treatise before the legal fraternity.

Unlike his earlier book on Himachal Pradesh Revenue Act, Commentary on the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, Commentary on the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Rules, Commentary on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and The Consumer Protection Act, which were mainly for the legal professionals, the latest book will serve the common man, for whose benefit the RTI law has been enacted. The 900-odd pages volume throws light on every clause and every aspect of the law.

He has discussed elaborately on the right to information and its relation with freedom of speech and expression, consumers, elections, press, corruption, environment, public interest litigation, e-governance, which will be interest to every citizen of the country.

The longish preamble to the book spread over 97 pages and covers all allied matters and while summing up the whole scheme provides a complete view of the act. The Right to Information Act, is of recent origin and as such the observations and views based on extensive research of the author will make the- book useful to all, including judges, advocates, public authorities, public information officers and most importantly, the citizens.

The foreword has been penned by Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Judge, Supreme Court of India. Dr Barowalia has done a great work, and indeed, a great service not only to the legal fraternity but also to those responsible for the implementation of the enactment and the citizenry in general. He has observed while appreciating his efforts.

Equally flattering are the observations of Mr Justice C.K. Thakker, Judge, Supreme Court of India, who in the introduction to the book says Dr Barowalia has been able to achieve the objective of academic writing i.e. formulating original ideas concerning various live and vexed issues in the filed of right to information thereby stimulating the readers to analyse the provisions of the act and utilise them in the larger interest of public. The author has covered vast areas and has left hardly anything connected with the right to information untouched by minutely examining relevant provisions of the act.

Presently posted as the Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice, Himachal Pradesh High Court, Dr Barowalia represents the rare breed of judicial officers who are inclined to proceed beyond the limited confines of routine judicial work into a broad experience of multi-dimensional intellectual activity. 

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 TB Sanatorium project hangs fire
Jagmeet Y. Ghuman

The problems in TB Sanatorium, Dharampur are galore. The various proposed projects have either been lying incomplete or failed to take off for want of funds. The health authorities are equally responsible for its failure to find a solution to problems.

The fate of state’s first TB Training, Research and Demonstration Centre (STDC) at TB sanatorium, Dharampur has been hanging fire due to a funds crunch. The state TB authorities have refused to allocate more funds for the setting up of required infrastructure for a training center here for which, Rs 18 lakh budget was earmarked. Besides this, conversion of female patient ward into a hostel, a lecture hall and a laboratory were also part of the construction plan and the work was handed over to the Housing Board.

The work on the laboratory had been completed but the work on hostel could not be completed for want of more funds. The construction of a lecture hall is also pending. The housing board has been asking for Rs 7 lakh more for the entire work, including construction of a lecture hall.

Culture lab

The sanatorium authorities also wrote to the state TB office at Shimla. However, as per a written communication from State TB officer, no more funds could be granted. The work was supposed to be completed with a grant of Rs 18 lakh only. As a result the training schedules have also suffered a big blow. The work had been abandoned since the past one year and sanatorium management was virtually clueless in arranging funds.

A culture lab is also being planned in the sanatorium. It would house the requisite infrastructure to demarcate the multi-drug resistance (MDR) cases from the normal TB patients. It needs equipments worth Rs 30 lakh. The Deputy Director General Central TB Division at New Delhi Dr L.S. Chauhan visited the sanatorium twice along with the other officials. He also inspected the new building constructed for the lab. Dr Chauhan had inspected the capacity and the size of the equipments to be installed in the lab building. The equipments were to be arranged by the central TB division. But till now no equipment has been received. Hence the lab has also been lying non-operational.

The lab once completed could be a boon for MDR TB cases. The MDR is an advanced stage of TB where patients require multi-drug treatment prescribed through culture tests and diagnosis. The lack of a lab was lacking in the sanatorium and patients had to wait for a longtime to get report of a culture test, available at a very high cost, from New Delhi only. The Dharampur TB sanatorium has been the central point for patients from all over North India particularly from the remote hill areas. Often the long delay in getting a diagnosis report proved fatal for some patients. Meanwhile the housing board has not yet handed the lab building over to MDR Treatment Society due to non-settlement of expenditure incurred on the construction.

The MDR society, formed under the chairmanship of the Solan administration to provide free of cost medical treatment to MDR cases had initially projected the building cost at around Rs 8 lakh. However, as per the Housing Board, the actual construction cost was Rs 10 lakh.

Unsafe OPD

The OPD building housing administrative section, x-ray room and a dispensary had been declared unsafe long time back. The building has developed big cracks all around for want of timely repair. For long the staff of over two-dozen continued to operate from this building by risking their security. Finally few months back the staff got shifted to ward no 6. Funds were approved to renovate the OPD building and Rs 15 lakh were sanctioned to dismantle the entire building besides sanction of another Rs 25 lakh for the construction. The PWD was supposed to carry out the work. Till date the work has failed to take off due to departments’ bottlenecks. The helpless staff has no other option than to operate from the limited space available in ward no 6. More over the ward no 6 was earlier meant for MDR patients.

No Fencing

The British set up the sanatorium in 1913 after a local landlord Pandit Dev Dutt donated 50 bighas of land. On many occasions, the demarcation of land had taken place but no efforts were made to fence the sanatorium land in order to protect it from encroachment. A sum of over Rs 3.50 lakh is required for fencing. Due to the lack of fencing, the TB patients have free access to market area that causes problem for the locals.

The short stints of Medical Superintendents in past few years were in fact a big problem for sanatorium itself. In past three years, Solan district TB Officer Dr H.C. Gupta is acting as an officiating MS of sanatorium for most of time. After Dr B.D. Sharma, who remained MS for 2 years, the sanatorium has had three Medical Superintendents with three-month stints. Dr R.L. Gupta, who joined in May 2005, retired after one month. After a long gap Dr I.D. Sood joined as MS in August this year. He was promoted as CMO, Hamirpur after 15 days. Dr H.C. Gupta is looking after the sanatorium. 

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 Ecologically Correct
Baljit Malik

Travel is an old human trait be it for adventure, exploration, trade, pleasure or salvation. Mainline travel, travel to off beaten tracks. Travel and tourism can be creative, enlightening; though it can also be destructive and polluting. Himachal is blessed with a panorama of nature at its beauteous and bounteous best.

Himachal: land of rivers, plains, valleys, lakes, forests, jungles, mountains. Land of waterfalls, natural springs; wildlife; of a million herbs, ferns and flowers; of chants, songs and dances that blend with Lord Indra’s rainbows of thunder, lightening and rain.

What is needed though is a vision for travel and tourism; that seeks to blend modernity with tradition, tamed with the wild; a paradigm of comfort with a paradigm of the Spartan. A vision that protects and conserves and not one that wastes, damages or destroys. Take a Forest Rest House or bungalow somewhere in the hills, on a ridge, a spur a valley. Transform it into an oasis, a haven, a module, and an eco habitat for inquisitive visitors. Surround it with trees, shrubs, flowers and vines. Let it be of slate, stone, wood and cast-iron. Build into it a water-harvesting system complete with a tank to take in 50,000 litres. Landscape the tank; camouflage its cement and concrete.

Also put in a simple water recycling arrangement for non-sewage bathroom and kitchen water, which can be filtered, then used as grey water for the garden. Install a hybrid energy system: mainline grid, solar and wind energy. Collect dry wood and pinecones for burning in the fireplace. Equip the cottage-bungalow with a sales counter to stock jute bags, Khadi, pottery, handicrafts, organic products. Create a small library/shop of ecological-environmental-adventure literature. Also stock local juices and wines. Keep bottled drinks strictly out-of-bounds.  

Wherever possible, create a tented camp along with the cottage-bungalows. Keep bicycles for cross-country rides. Encourage trekking, climbing, fishing in the countryside. An eco-habitat for our times should, to a maximum extent, be a zero non-degradable garbage zone.

Himachal should lead the way in becoming a vanguard and trendsetter for Eco-Tourism that is affordable, practical, healthy, spiritual and fun. Sadly, in the tourism panorama of Himachal, there is, perhaps, not even a single example of an eco-friendly rest house, hotel or resorts. At least, not on the lines of the vision articulated above. It requires only a little investment in imagination and commitment to reverse this trend. A reversal that should be attempted step by step as an eco-friendly consciousness begins to penetrate the minds of Himachal’s politicians, bureaucrats, military brass and ordinary people in general.

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 Four-laning Dream
Rakesh Lohumi

The government has drawn flak from various quarters for turning down the proposal for the four-laning of the Solan-Shimla section of the National Highway, however, the project has not been not been abandoned. It has only been deferred.

The main reason for not taking up the project along with the Zirakpur-Timber Trail -Solan sections is that the 42 km stretch lacked adequate volume of traffic to justify four-laning. As per norms the minimum volume of traffic required for four-laning of a highway is 30,000 pcu (passenger car units).

In the instant case even the Timber Trail-Solan section the volume of traffic was only 22,000 pcu when the survey was conducted two years ago. However, this section has been included in the four-laning project as the traffic has been increasing and reach the prescribed volume by the time the work is completed.

In case of Solan-Shimla section the volume of traffic recorded was just over 12,000 pcu, less than half of the minimum requirement. Mr Subhash Negi, principal secretary, Public Works Department, points out that if this stretch is also taken up the toll would be heavy as the project is being implemented under private-public partnership. Instead, the government has decided to go for widening of the section for which the National Highway Authority of India has agreed to give funds. He said that the state would get Rs 1.5 crore per kilometre for widening and in all about Rs 70 crore would be spent for the purpose. The 7 mt metalled portion would be extended to 10 m by tarring the 1.5 m berms on both sides. Besides, curve improvement works would also be taken up wherever required.

In fact, the state could not turn down the proposal as it was part of the centre’s programme to link the state capitals with four-laned highways. The highway will be four-laned over the next few years when there was enough volume of traffic to ensure its feasibility.

In line with the Centre’s policy to upgrade the road infrastructure the state government has also launched a Rs 2,000 crore crash programme under which about 800 km of roads will be widened in the state. The roads to be upgraded include Mehatpur-Una-Amb, Una-Agahar Barsar-Jahu-Rewalsar-Mandi, Ghumarwin-Sarkaghat-Jogindernagar, Theog-Kotkhai-Rohru and Kumarhatti-Sarahan-Nahan sections. Besides, 400 km of additional length of major roads will be selected for double-laning after feasibility report is received from consultants. These include Solan-Yashwantnagar-Sainj and Mubarkpur-Chintpurni-Dehra Dharamsala road will also be widened to double lane. 

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 Mani stones of Nako
Kulwinder Sandhu

Thousands of manuscripts related to Buddhist history, beautifully carved on stone plates, some dating back to the medieval period are lying in the open in absence of any care in the desolate tracts of Nako village. The village, famous for its scenic beauty, situated at a height of more than 3, 600 metres in the tribal district of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh.

This village houses a Buddhist monastery that was constructed in the 11th century AD, an imperative centre of pilgrimage for the Budhists. The monastery is devoted to Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) the legendary 8th century founder of Buddhism in this region. Besides this monastery, there are as many as six other temples of worship dating back to different periods, spread all over the village.

The people of this historically important village call the stone-carved manuscripts ‘mani stones’ inscribed with Tibetan mantras kept on stonewalls or piles of the rocks prominently at cross roads, at entrances of the village, on high mountain paths and also in the narrow lanes of this village.

While walking around the village one can see thousands of ‘Mani stones’. They are also available in many other villages of this tribal belt, particularly in the upper areas of Kinnaur.

Usually, the universal mantra-‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ is inscribed on these smooth stone plates and rocks in Tibetan language. Images of deities and great adepts and sutra texts are also commonly available themes inscribed on the stones. There is also a possibility of these mantras inscribed on the stones may be in the ancient Pali language, which could be a good subject for the historians and anthropologists to study.

As per a myth, upon encountering a ‘Mani stone’ mound, the followers of Buddhism move it clockwise as a prayer for health, peace and protection. No body in the village has exact idea of the historical background of these manuscripts inscribed on stones. Confirming this secretary of the local committee of the monastery Kunzum Ram told The Tribune that these scripts might have been written over the ages as a continuous process.

Since, the monastery situated here is centuries old, some of the scripts written on the stones may relate to that period. All the ‘Mani stones’ that are found in and around the village seem to have broken down in the ages as some of the broken pieces of these stones have a portion of the text or paintings missing.

Moreover, in the absence of any arrangement for security of these manuscripts many foreigners and domestic visitors coming here take away these historical scripts along with them, as per the villagers.

No one has ever done any exercise to count these historically valuable ‘mani stones’ found in and around this village. Demanding a proper study on these documents written on stones, Kunzum Ram further said that the government should come forward and preserve the manuscripts for the generations to come.

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