Aarohi Kumaon

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2012

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Office bldg of NGO Aarohi. They are involved in health, education, livelihood, natural resource mgmt etc. It is about 2 hours drive from Almora or about an hour from Mukteshwar. The drive from Almora is very scenic. Ground floor is OPD room, left of that is hospital. On first floor is office. Set up in 1992. To know more Click here

U see a Cold Press Oil Extraction unit. Apricot is fed from the top of the unit from which oil is extracted. The Apricot oil is very good. Their work has spanned about 100 villages in the They run a school and hospital as well which you shall see later. To know about n order various apricot related products Click here

Aarohi produces and sells various herbs that you see in pic. They are basil, oregano, rose mary, mixed herb, jumboo, thyme, parsley, mint, carrway. To know about and buy these products Click here

This is the herb drying centre room where herbs are dried before being put in bottles like you saw in the previous pic. Friends in Rishikesh speak very highly of their herbal products, I bought and liked the apricot soap.

U see pic of school buildings on left n in front (this houses computer learning room). The Aarohi Bal Sansar was started 13 years ago as a primary school on demand from the local community. It has 80 children on its rolls. It provides spaces for creative learning with foundations in maths, science and languages. Classes till 6th standard. Link tells you about the school, approach to education and details if u wish to sponsor a girl student Click here

We now move to the Health care centre. U see the OPD room. I had hurt my foot during trek to Bhatkot. The lady did a good job in treating me. Aarohi is currently implementing AROGYA project, which aims at achieving long-term sustainability and security of community health by developing a viable, cost effective community health program.

I was very impressed with the Operation Theatre, maintain high standards of hygiene. The Arogya project involves 25 villages and is impacting app 15,000 people from Nainitial, Chamoli and Bageshwar districts. To know more about their health related work Click here

This is the X Ray room, has dental x ray facility also. U drive from Almora for about 30 minutes and turn left for Aarohi. The near one hour drive is scenic and imp goes thru areas which are very rural, mainly villages. Then in the midst of this lovely scenery saw AAROHI. Very good vibrations when I entered their office and hospital.

This is the Dental Chair - again the health care centre area is very clean. Could sense the pride in the voice and on the faces of employees who worked there.

Within the same complex AAROHI has a shop which sells woollen hand knitt products, soaps, herbs, oils etc. U see woollen products for e.g. shawls, pullovers, jackets etc.

2 days after I left i.e. from Nov 2 there was going to be a MELA (fair) where similar organizations in the region would be displaying/selling their products. U see the stalls made esp. for the mela. I wish could be there but Mukteshwar / Nainital were calling.

On the first floor of the office building is this meeting room where daily meetings take place. Loved the space. One end is a window from where setting sun''s rays come in with trees in front. Just the right environment to sit, review and brainstorm.

On the first floor of the building next to the office, students were rehearing for a cultural program. We present a couple of pics. To read about Farmers Club Click here

A close up view of students who were singing and the musicians. Great fun seeing them, how children were trying to coordinate the movements and their gossip. To read about Apricot Soap Click here

Children practicing for the program. All I can say loved the place, the work they do and importantly the bhavna (feeling) with which they worked. Employees who showed me around looked so happy and content.

I loved this, note the girl was singing when I clicked this. U can volunteer with AAROHI or send them a donation. To know more Click here

It was about 5.30pm when I left. A friend told me about the Ramachandra Mission a few kms away. After a close to 30 minute drive thru some high roads we reached the Mission. I was looking for a place to spend the night but was told that only Abhyasis (meditation students) were allowed to stay at the Mission. Disheartened we moved on. U see a sunset view of the Himalayan Peaks notably left to right Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, Nanda devi, Nanda kot and Panchachuli .

Saw 2 hotels enroute who asked for Rs 1000/ a night high for me. Someone told us to try at another NGO called CHIRAG, they have rooms. Reached there, waited for about 45 minutes for employees to return from office only to be told that rooms were full. When I told them the purpose of my visit they spoke to their main office where rooms were available. Another 20 minute drive, reached there by 8pm. At the room met a very interesting person. We spent hours chatting, it seemed as if had known each other for years. Actually thanked the Mission for denying me a room. Somewhere enroute you see the moon at about 7pm.

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