Muhaan in Nepali means source. This is reflected in the ethos of Muhaan, a social enterprise from Kalimpong which aims to provide eco-friendly, sustainable, and alternative livelihoods to the people of remote villages. We are trying to achieve this by proper promotion of the unique important assets of the rural ecosystem. We are a team of driven individuals from various backgrounds who are working to develop sustainable community tourism models in the associated villages.
You must have traveled to the mountains and been pleased by its majestic landscapes, but a place is created by more than just its scenic views. Places hold people and their stories. And stories are powerful if only we’re paying attention. They break down barriers and build bridges of empathy. At Muhaan, we’ve all got a story to share. Having grown up with these hills and valleys, we can say that these aren’t just stories but personal recollections and retellings of how we’ve been making the most out of life, despite living in the last miles. These stories aren’t just the popularly written history of the well-known Himalayas, but lesser-known delicate lived experiences and marginalized narratives of the people living in the rural communities of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Himalayas.
For many of us, the quietude and stillness of the rural landscape is an escape. But venturing into rural communities can also facilitate knowledge-sharing and compassionate engagement. Muhaan works directly with rural communities on principles of a self-sustaining community tourism model. By reassuring the community to share their traditional livelihood practices and preserved cultures, we hope to enable the creation of authentic tourism experiences that translate into long-term friendships.
Kholeydai is a festival initiated by Muhaan and the community of Parengtar to revive the dying traditions of dai culture done after paddy harvesting. The festival highlighted a different approach to rural tourism integrating cultural heritage and agriculture. The festival became a great platform to bring Parengtar on the tourism map in a very sensible manner keeping the rural essence of the place alive.
The Asar Pandhra celebrations in Parengtar is initiated by Muhaan and the community of Parengtar to revive and conserve this important festival. Paddy being an important part of Parengtar's culture, it is important to promote this and include it in the tourism model of the place.
Living with the forests
A workshop on Forest Communities Ecology and Sustainable Livelihoods
The 4 days workshop 'Living with the Forests' was conducted with N.V.S.E Society and Annugyalaya D.D.S.S to introduce a new form of educational tourism in the area. The workshop showcased the various potential of the Neora Valley and the inner narratives of the adjoining villages. The workshop also served as a platform for local resource persons to showcase their expertise and knowledge as most of the facilitators were selected from the community itself.
Freedom Run 2022
First ever community driven zero waste run
Our members assisted the Kalimpong police to organize the first ever zero waste run in the district . The event was initiated to promote sustainable community based tourism in the Jaldhaka region. The communities were practically trained in the concept of zero waste through the event . Keeping in mind our vision of community tourism we involved almost all sections of the communities and utilizing only locally available resources which actually made the event zero waste.
OUR WORKS AND IMPACTS ( AT A GLANCE)
Created a unique branding model in the form of The Healing Village, especially for places like Chuikhim.
Given rural tourism workshops to rural communities from Sangti Valley, Namdhapa National Park, Mungpel and Parengtar
Working with N.V.S.E Society to create an alternate tourism model based on environment and community tourism
Establishing Parengtar as a model village for community and agro-tourism
Closely working with remote villages adjoining the Neora Valley to promote zero waste and authentic rural tourism.
Started more than 30 homestays by introducing the concept of local homestays