Sunday, November 20, 2022

Commemorating Prof Leszek Starkel's interactions with STH in Darjeeling (21Nov2008) and Kalimpong (25Nov2009)

Prof Leszek Starkel (1931-2021) was a legend.
He was an eminent geomorphologist, a leading figure in Polish geomorphology over many decades and also a person of wide international reputation.
I came across him almost accidentally. Some one had given me a book by him on 'Rain,Landslides and Floods in the Darjeeling Himalaya' sometime in early 2008 and in it was his email address. So I shot off an email to him saying SaveTheHills was very interested in his work and would like to meet him if possible and promptly forgot about it, never expecting a reply.
Many months later I got a reply from the great man that he was arriving in Darjeeling in Nov2008 and I could actually meet him. I jumped at the offer and requested that he be our keynote speaker in a seminar on 'Landslide Hazards' we would organize in Darjeeling on his arrival.
He agreed and we organized what must be the first seminar on 'Landslide Hazards' in Darjeeling on 21Nov2008. A year later we organized another talk by him in Kalimpong on 25Nov2009 which was also our last since his visits to India stopped due to illness.
Later I found that he had been coming to India very regularly after the Oct 1968 disaster to study among other things the Ambootia landslides.
Prof Starkel passed away last year on 06Nov.
The images below are testimony to our brief but wonderful interaction with Prof Leszek Starkel.

STH finds a place in Prof Leszek Starkel's memoirs:

Praful Rao
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

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