Astronomy for Himalayan Livelihood Creation

Lack of electricity, education and access to income are critical problems surrounding the remote Himalayan communities with income levels ranging around $600- $800 per annum per family. But they have a powerful resource that has never been utilized to bring about a change and growth – Their Clear Night Skies

With the aim to leverage astronomy as a key developmental intervention in Ladakh, our Social Enterprise, Global Himalayan Expedition’s Initiative - Astronomy for Himalayan Livelihood creation (AHLC) - promotes astronomy as a means to further develop the economy of the remote villages of Ladakh by creating Astro-Homestays - a unique form of sustainable tourism that creates economic benefits for these remote communities.  

AHLC two key areas: 

Women run Astro- Homestays 
The Astro Homestays are run by local village women, trained on basics of astronomy. Each women’s Self-Help Group (SHG) is provided a telescope and on an average earn $300 per month/group. Empowering these women entrepreneurs through astronomy has helped reduce gap of gender equality in their existing social system.

Astronomy for Differently abled people
GHE has trained six differently abled people on Astronomy and Telescope handling from the Local NGO PAGIR. They are now promoting night viewing sessions for tourists at their café in Leh town. This intervention has now created honour and respect for them among the society, thereby making this initiative inclusive in operation. 

 

The Project is also responding to multiple UN SDGs & creating a holistic sustainable development model.

SDG 1: (No Poverty)
Overall mission of the project is to remove poverty by using technology astronomy and tourism as means to do it.

SDG 4: (Quality Education)
Introduction of Astronomy among school students’ is helping them enhance their horizon towards science and technology. 

SDG 5: (Gender Equality)
The women entrepreneurs that run these Astro homestays are now also considered as bread winners for their family 

SDG 7: (Clean and Affordable Energy)
The Astro Homestays are solar powered and provide these villagers with access to clean energy 

SDG 8: (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
Women SHG’s and Differently abled people are now operating telescopes to show the night sky to tourists, creating an added revenue generation model. 

SDG 10: (Reduced Inequality)
Tourists from all over the globe are visiting these low-income villages to learn mysteries of Dark Skies

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