Overtourism held its unlucky head high all of last year, as several tourist spots temporarily closed down or imposed restrictions. To avoid such pressures on local populations in India—especially Himalayan settlements—an organization called GreenPeople is working to rejig old ways of sustenance. Focusing on grassroots travel that gets your hands dirty, GreenPeople engages in bee farming, harvesting vegetables, building using traditional architecture, and goat rearing
Out of all these initiatives, their ‘Bakri Swayamvar’ event is what grabs most eyeballs. And this symbolic event goes much deeper than just being an intriguing headline.
Several villages in Uttarakhand are in areas that are infertile or unirrigated, making livestock the most viable option to keep local economies running. Goats far outnumber sheep, with most owners being marginalized farmers who let the animals graze and roam free. While this provides postcard-perfect vistas for the odd backpacker passing through, there’s not much systematic growth here in terms of broadening gene pools. There’s also not enough awareness of healthy breeding practices. GreenPeople, thus, will be holding the third edition of what they call ‘Bakri Swayamvar’ on April 13, 2020. Now their signature event, it helps boost genetic diversity for goat populations in the area and educates farmers about a higher grade of livestock rearing.