Wednesday, September 15, 2010

STH's third anniversary and our official logo.

3 Years of Existence

SaveTheHills (STH) is  3 years old today and here is a recap of our achievements and failings:-

1.  STH is today a registered NGO working on the landslide hazard issue in the Darjeeling/Sikkim Himalayas.
2. We have been able to highlight the seriousness of the landslide problem in this region at the national and state levels - in so doing we are urging a long term, comprehensive solution be sought.
STH has conducted/ participated in or organized 47 big and small awareness camps/ workshops and seminars and our audience has been as diverse as villagers, professors, students, police officers, government officials and politicians.
4. Our paper on the landslide problem of Chibo-Pashyor villages of Kalimpong is now part of the official papers of the 2nd India Disaster Management Congress held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi in Nov2009.
5. We have installed automatic rainfall gauges at Kalimpong and Kurseong and along with the one already existing at Darjeeling are able to keep a daily tab on the rainfall in these 3 major towns of the district. A monthly record of the rainfall in these towns along with a short analysis is published every month on this blog (from Jun2010).
6. Our maps of landslide affected areas are much more accurate thanks to Google Maps and imports from GPS.
7. With the help of India Meteorological Department we have established a rudimentary SMS based early warning system which has been functional throughout the monsoons of 2010. Under this system, heavy rainfall warnings are SMSed by Gangtok Regional Met office to a number of prominent NGOs who in turn pass on the warnings to communities in areas where they operate.
8. We carried out Community Based Disaster Risk Management on an experimental basis in Chibo-Pashyor villages of Kalimpong. In so doing we trained some young volunteer men and women in first aid (thanks to the army) and we also gave them some basic first aid and rescue equipment.
9. STH has been featured in a number of national magazines and newspapers inclusive of Tehelka, Planet-Earth, Times of Disaster Management, Telegraph, Talk Sikkim etc. STH won the Manthan Award South Asia (MASA) in Dec2009 and has also been featured a number of times in this prestigious landslide blog.

1. Without a doubt our most important weakness is lack of funds. This inhibits our work on a much larger scale where we could
a) Conduct a massive awareness drive in the district and Sikkim.
b) Update the inventory of landslides including those increasingly due to anthropogenic factors.
c) Continue with CBDRM and capacity building measures in vulnerable areas.
We are working hard to change this situation.

STH would like to thank Mr Gaurav Mani Pradhan for designing a most appropriate logo for us

Praful Rao

1 comment:

Women Aloud: Videoblogging for Empowerment said...

Dear Praful,
I run an NGO program called WAVE and would like to get in touch with you to see if you can refer me to any NGOs in Sikkim who could use our video camera to encourage women to report on social issues. Please let me know your email address/ phone by emailing me at

You can visit our website at