Starting up the thread to introduce all of you to our next noble traveler's led initiative DoW Spiti Library Project
DoW has been actively travelling, living and promoting responsible tourism for over 2 years now. Things began taking shape in our mega meets, the most notable one being the mass execution of DoW Causes in Spiti last year at the Mega Meet '14. In addition, our sustainable mini Causes by members and travelers have been gaining speed as well.
However, after last year's Mega Meet, we were posed with a unique dilemma that needed some deliberation. A lot of people came forward with a promise to support DoW shall we do something to change the lives of remote Himalayan villages on a large scale. A lot of discussions followed within the Core group and travelers at large. Ideas ranging from a DoW NGO to partnership with NGOs were considered and rejected for one reason or another until things settled on something that DoW can do in its present form, something that we can initiate involving local interaction and benefit and with least amount of bureaucratic involvement.
A need for a well stocked, maintained and public library in Spiti was felt by both DoW and the locals. And what better place to set it up than the district Headquarters - Kaza. Our devil partner in this project is Mr. Tsering, a respected resident of Kaza and owner of Sakya Abode Hotel came forward to guide and support us in this noble project and soon it started taking shape.
DoW Spiti Library Project | Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the frequently asked questions which will help you understand better about this project from Devil On Wheels Community.
What is DoW Spiti Library?
The DoW Spiti Library is a self-sustainable, travelers led initiative in Kaza - Spiti Valley, which is being setup for the benefit of the local community. It is our pilot project to kick start the long term change at a much larger scale in the remote Himalayan regions as a part of our community vision. This public library will be offering books for the locals as well as tourists of Spiti Valley where the target audience is people who are looking or finding:
1. books for learning Bhoti/Tibetan to Hindi/English and vice-versa,
2. books about local Culture, Traditions, History, Buddhism & Spirituality.
3. books related to travel, mainly for travelers looking to spend time in Library on their trips to Spiti Valley
4. books related to local school curriculum and syllabus
5. books related to competition exam preparations targeting senior secondary school children
6. books related to primary school children
7. books related to hotel management and tourism industry, in order to benefit locals to know about the industry and best practices
8. books related to science and arts
We have leased a two room set with a toilet in a home stay at Kaza for next two years of this pilot project phase. The big room will be used for the library installed with heater or bukhari and other room will be used for the stay purposes when one of the members/volunteers travel for the work of library to Spiti Valley.
This small room will also be used to rent as an accommodation or stay option for 2-3 people/tourists looking for home-stay at a very nominal charge of Rs 400 per day for the room. 50% of the charges will go towards the maintenance of our Library project hence making it self-sustainable and rest 50% will go to the home stay owner. Of course, meals need to be paid extra there at the home stay itself to the owner of the home stay. The home stay will be run by a very lovely local family in Kaza in which we have housed this library.
Where is it located in Spiti Valley?
It is located in Kaza, Spiti Valley near Hotel Snow Lion. You can ask directions for Tsering bhai house at Hotel Snow Lion and our library is located just about 100-150 Mtrs from the house of Tsering bhai. We will share the exact GPS Trail and co-ordinates very soon. Latest pictures of the home stay can be found in the below posts of this very thread.
Will it be open in winters too?
Yes, one of the idea behind having Kaza as the base location is to make it accessible all round the year.
Why did we choose Kaza Village?
Well, Kaza village was choosen because we at Devil On Wheels, at present, want to focus on the upliftment of the belt around Kaza mainly, Langza, Hikkim, Komik, Ki, Kibber villages and Kaza being accessible all round the year/season from these villages makes a perfect location in order to setup the library. We should understand that it is primarily winters when locals have more time to focus on enhancing their skills or learning new things. This public library will ensure that those who are interested can spent that idle time in positive and fruitful direction.
Why is DoW Community doing it?
DoW Community, over its travels and Mega Meets, realized the need to bring bigger impacts through its responsible tourism initiatives and introduced this public Library in Spiti Valley as a pilot project to start traveler-funded infrastructure. The idea is to facilitate the willingness of travelers to volunteer with a requirement of the locals and come up with something that benefits them mutually.
How did you guys manage it? Were you funded by someone?
Yes, and no. We did not seek funding from anyone other than regular members of DoW who were willing to contribute anonymous amounts to a common corpus. We managed to create a pool of money to get the home stay and library in order and get it started. Over time, the rentals from the home stay will keep the property running while we will be looking for volunteer travelers to re-stock the libraries or add to it. In this initiative, we have partnered with SNOW BOARD ASSOCIATION, an NGO/TRUST based in Kaza and run by Tsering bhai and his team to promote social activities in Spiti Valley.
I didn't know DoW is an NGO!!
NO, its not ... DoW is a One Person Company (OPC) registered as "Devil On Wheels (OPC) Private Limited" in India that runs this Travel community forum, guides people about their travels and participates in impact-making initiatives to benefit the lives in local Himalayan villages.
That sounds cool. So how do I access the library? What all can I find there?
The home stay and the library are located in the same premises and can be accessed by anyone. At present, the library will be stocked with books as defined above. Overtime, as requirements grow, we will try to re-stock new material. The home stay can be booked on chargeable basis. The details of the same will be uploaded on DoW soon on how to book the home stay for your stay.
All right, I'm sold, how do I volunteer?
As you believe in our vision and by now in this pilot project of setting up a public library, to make a difference in the villages of Spiti Valley, please continue to read below in order to understand how you can contribute or volunteer or be part of this one of its kind traveler's led initiative for the upliftment of the local himalayan community.
How Can You or Anyone Contribute or Volunteer for DoW Spiti Library Project??
We at DoW Core team and Spiti Library Projects profusely thank you for volunteering in our pilot project, DoW Spiti Library.
We understand your zeal to give something back to Himalayas whom you've loved and adored so much but please also note that we are NOT accepting direct monetary contribution from travelers/members at large at the moment. The best way to contribute will of course be a part of the Causes yourself instead of offering money.
To volunteer or contribute with this project, please drop in your email ID in a PM to any of the ADMINS/MODS below and write a small post how can you help including dates of your travel and we will get in touch with you.
Usually we will be looking for someone who can:
- buy/gift a book or few books for the library - Required Books Catalogue
- buy/gift anything you feel will be needed for the library in case you see some shortfall after visiting it,
- carry books/ furniture in their vehicles on their happy trips to Spiti,
- carry other materials in their vehicles on their happy trips to Spiti and hand over there in library premise,
- spend some time there to help sort and manage the books or shelves, and
- spend some time at local schools to get kids acquainted with the books.
- take some teaching classes within library premises or at near by schools.
If you could mention a few ways you could help us in, that would be awesome. Please fill this form in case you are interested to contribute in this noble initiative from DoW Community: DoW Spiti Library Contribution Details Form
If you have some other crazy idea that will contribute to the project, feel free to post it and we will consider it. If you have any other doubt, please get in touch with any member of the DoW Core Group or ADMINS/MODS.
Again, please also note that we are NOT accepting direct monetary contribution from travelers/ members at large at the moment. The best way to contribute will of course be a part of the Causes yourself instead of offering money.
Here is the simplified version of the info graphic to explain the What, Where, Why and How of our Dream Project - DoW Spiti Library
Here is the time lapse video of the DoW Spiti Library Inauguration