DoW - Causes | A Step Towards Responsible Travel
In the continuous efforts of DoW to promote Responsible Travel in Himalayas and materialize our vision of helping Himalayan lives directly, in this article I will detail out the soul of DoW which we call DoW - Causes. I will also try to explain how these causes will work, how one can connect with these causes to support or benefit the lives of local Himalayan people including other necessary details.
1. What are DoW - Causes?
DoW - Causes is a kind of social responsibility initiative from DoW Community where a traveler/tourist is expected to contribute in his/her own small individual capacity measures. We expect that the members of our community who will be visiting various parts of Himalayas in time to come, will try to support these small, small causes explained in the subsequent posts in order to provide direct help to the people of Himalayas and help them grow in their own sense and space.
2. How does DoW - Causes work & How can I be a part of it?
There are two dimensions where we will be working with DoW - Causes. One is Direct Dimension, where any member of DoW - Adventure Club WILL be directly involved with the cause along with others participating in it. And the other one is the Indirect Dimension, where any member of DoW - Adventure Club WILL NOT be involved directly but he/she may provide directions & help to someone interested to support any of our DoW - Causes. Let me explain in detail:
Direct Dimension: Most of us know that DoW - Adventure Club is planning a have Ladakh and Chandratal Meets in coming September with some members of the community and other tourists tagging along with us. Here, we will not just be traveling together rather:
Firstly, each and everyone in the tour will be supporting one of the DoW causes as mandatory which are related to donating common medicines in local dispensaries, stationary items including books required in such rural schools, household/harsh winter need woolens or equipment, etc.. Once the group reaches the place each member traveling will responsibly hand over such things to the respective dispensaries, schools, local villagers who are in need. This way we wish to plant that sense of traveling responsibly & feeling connected to the place. If it really touches someone out of the club traveling with us, they can wish to join in even next time or can come with 2 more friends or educate them on their personal tours as well.
Secondly, on all these tours we will not be taking anything from any operator rather we will be directly linking up with Himalayan lives in these remote parts. For examples: we will be staying in home-stays/small guest houses run by local people, we will be hiring porters/local villagers on the trek rather some guide outside for our treks/hikes to large extent (know it can’t be feasible always but wherever we can we will do), we will be eating with small dhabhas/tea stalls mostly, we will be hiring local drivers of the towns rather getting some travel agent involved. After coming back all this data will be published back in the community with respective contacts in an easy and organized manner. This way once one of our group comes back we will promote such local villagers so that they get the direct benefits rather some middle men robbing them of it.
Finally, on similar grounds, we will be carrying out some hikes/treks for cleanliness along with locals out there may be for a day on our tours, though it may not be true for all tours. I know a local group who organizes the same for Chandratal every year. So, we will try to tie up with such groups too to spread the word of Responsible and Effective Traveling to Himalayas...
So, any one associated with DoW Himalayan Meets will be supporting DoW - Causes directly and mandatory.
Indirect Dimension: In this indirect dimension, we will be supporting people who are interested to support these causes on their own by providing the local contacts of dispensaries, schools, local villagers, etc.. who will be co-coordinating with DoW community to help these causes get life in Himalayas.
We will try to educate members in DoW Community about these causes as well who are otherwise just interested in the Itinerary Advice sections for fixing their itineraries. If they feel to be interested in the DoW Causes on their own tours as well, we will provide them the local contacts of dispensaries, schools, local villagers, etc.. so that they can execute them and Travel Responsibly.
This way people coming over to DoW Community who can travel in economic and effective manner with the help of information present in the DoW will be able to directly support or benefit the lives of those local villagers somewhere in the Himalayas.
3. How do I find about when does DoW - Adventure Club's Meets to Himalayas are happening?
Simplest way is to look at our DoW - Travel Calendar, where all our Workshops, Mega Meets, Mini Meets will be highlighted and published. Along with that, there will be a dedicated thread for each such event in the forum: DoW Adventure Club & Community -> Travel Meets & Workshops
4. Can I ask someone else or member of DoW to buy items for these causes and carry them when they go on tours?
No. It is a step towards Responsible Travel and we do not want any kind of delegation and support rather we want everyone to understand the meaning of Traveling Responsibly and spread the message in their peers as well. And the first step is what you take on your OWN that is to go to the local shop to buy these medicines, stationary or other items.
If you are going with DoW on some Himalayan Meet, you yourself will be required to buy the items corresponding to the DoW - Cause you are interested to support for example stationary or medicines, you will be the only one carrying them along and finally you yourself will distribute them. No other member of the DoW Community will buy it for you or carry it for you or even distribute for you ...
Only in future when we will be connecting more causes towards distributions of items which are hard to find such as Solar Lanterns, Solar Cookers, etc.. in remote parts of Himalayas, we will provide just the references or links of online/offline store from where you can buy such items but that too you will be carrying yourself and distributing them on your own.
5. Can I just donate money or items for the Causes?
No, it is mandatory that you buy your own items from the shop you know, carry them on your own and distribute them on your own among the local Himalayan people. There is no option to donate anything, neither money nor items. We will not be accepting any items in any form from the people who are not traveling themselves.
The whole sense of this initiative is to make you feel the local attachment with the place you Travel not just being there and doing sightseeing.
6. Is DoW or these Causes associated with some NGO?
No, the message should be clear that DoW is to support Responsible Travel NOT an NGO. Responsible Travel happens when you travel yourself to the places, connect with the nature, the people, the culture, the lives and where you can support these causes yourself.
7. How effective these DoW - Cause are or will be?
It is quite premature stage to answer that but still I will say, in terms of effectiveness it shall do good, god willingly because I have done this through DoW Blog successfully for the past couple of years by promoting such lives in Ladakh and Spiti to some extent and actually reaching out to people to get services from such local villagers directly. Many local I know now gets repeated business out of it and their lives have transformed to some extent and that’s where lies a sense of creating that little difference in Himalayan lives. But, that was just in single capacity and the community vision is aligned to DoW’s original vision. I distribute candies, stationary, medicines I carry with myself among locals in Himalayas and it has worked wonders for me.
The idea is to bring out the small, small individual capacities together to really create the difference in effective manner.
I hope the above description gives you the insights on DoW - Causes in detail. In the subsequent posts, I will enlist all the causes supported currently running under DoW Community with details including their description, what items to carry for the cause, whom to contact for the cause, etc..
Feedback & Suggestions
In order to keep a list of just DoW - Causes under one single place that is this Thread, the topic has been locked as the subsequent posts will only have details on the causes including its description, what items to carry for the cause, whom to contact for the cause, etc..
Hence, please feel free to provide your feedback or suggestions or any queries under the thread: DoW - Causes | Feedback & Suggestions