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Sixth edition of ‘Askot-Arakot Yatra’ in Uttarakhand Himalayas from May 25

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Sixth edition of ‘Askot-Arakot Yatra’ in Uttarakhand Himalayas from May 25


Pithoragarh, April 29

The sixth edition of the much acclaimed ‘Askot-Aarakot Yatra’, a travel on foot across the Himalayan region of Kumoan and Garhwal which form the present day state of Uttarakhand to sense the ground realities of Himalayan ecology and society, will commenced this year from May 25 from Pangu, the far eastern border village   in Pithoragarh and will conclude at Aarakot, the far western border in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. Undertaken by Dr Shekhar Pathak, a former professor of History in Kumaon University, Nainital and his associates, every ten years since 1974, the ‘Askot-Arakot Yatra’ would be completing it’s half century.

The theme of this edition’s yatra is going to be ‘Srot se Sangam” ( From Source to Confluence of rivers).”The yatra teams will try to find out the real condition of catchment areas of Himalayan rivers flowing in Uttarakhand state and ground reality of rivulets contributing them, ” said Dr. Shekhar Pathak.

The aim of this edition’s yatra is to gauge to  what extent the hill people have been deprived of their natural assets of ‘Jal, Jungal and Jamin’ (Water, Forest and Land)   on the pretext of mining, construction of dams and roads.

” We will also study in what shape the economy of Uttarakhand in high Himalayan regions presently and what is the trend of migration from villages and what are the impacts on women and children of highly acclaimed educational, medical  facilities in hills and what sort of changes have occured in the social life of the hills in the last 24 years of statehood,” said Dr Pathak.

“The first Askot – Arakot Abhiyan (AAA) commenced from May 25 till July 8, 1974. This voluntary campaign continued since then after an interval of 10 years in the following years, 1984, 1994, 2004 and in 2014. We are starting the sixth edition of the yatra this year on the same days, ” announced Dr Pathak.

According to the itinerary of this year’s ‘Askot Arakot Abhiyan Yatra’, it will cover a total distance of 1150 km in 45 days.”The members of Abhiyan will pass through six districts of Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Bageshwar and Uttarakashi in 45 days of the travel.

“We will cover 350 villages, catchment areas of 35 rivers,16 meadows, 20 ‘kharaks’, or pet animals sheds at higher altitude, 15 highly sensitive regions from earthquake and landslides points of view, 15 abandoned ‘Chattis’ or stay points to Himalayan pilgrimages, 5 pilgrimage routes, 5 tribal regions and 8 places where ‘Chipko Movement’ had witnessed it’s activities in past,” informed Dr Shekhar Pathak .

This edition of Askot- Arakot Abhiyan Yatra will be attended by besides Himalayan lovers, researchers, journalists, writers, stage artists ,social scientists from across the country and school students of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.  “After the yatra concludes, we will organise a seminar of particpants to exchange the experiences of various teams  during interaction with Himalayan realities,” said Dr Shekhar Pathak.



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