When urban women meet mountain counterparts
By Poorvi Gupta
Nine women from across India have set out for one of the most adventurous and life-altering trips of their lives.
They started from Delhi on May 12 for a small village of Munsiyari near Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. It takes about 10 hours of car-ride from Haldwani, Uttarakhand to reach the terrains of Munsiyari, which is about 2,300 meters above sea level and oversees the beautiful Panchachuli snow-capped mountains.
This all-women tour is led by Antara Chatterjee, founder of Little Local in collaboration with SheThePeople.TV
The women of Munsiyari lead a simple life but they are enterprising, strong and multi-taskers who manage several jobs. These women are the key farmers of Munsiyari who grow their own vegetables and fruits, knit clothes and run homestays.
What is unique to these women is that they work in a group of which some women meet every day to discuss the course of everybody’s journey. Mallika, who came to Munsiyari about 25 years ago from Delhi and settled there, helps these women in solving their day-to-day problems and bring more innovations. She is the head of Van Panchayat of Munsiyari.
The nine women from the city, with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, decided to embark on this journey to meet, spend time, and collaborate with the women of Munsiyari.
Among them is 50-year-old Deval from Dubai, who works as a professor at Amity University. She came all the way to experience something different. She is also one of the most enthusiastic women who don’t flinch from experiencing new things.
There is also a mother-daughter duo of Uma and Sapna, who are entrepreneur and photographer respectively. Originally from Chennai and settled in Bangalore, they have travelled to many places together for work and for fun.
Three engineers all from Bangalore, a lawyer from Mumbai, an entrepreneur in finance and a professional working with Tata Trust from Delhi have come to relax by the mountains and learn in the process of this trip.
Each woman brings with her a unique personality and a wish to connect with the women from the village. They want to share their perspective and learn from the women of the mountains as to how they lead their lives in apparently hard conditions, their challenges and their journeys.
As unique as it may sound, all the women collectively, in the course of the week that they spend there, will talk about their body and the politics of it. They will also strike a dialogue around gender, their physical strength in comparison to one another and their mental strength through various activities that they partake in along with Munsiyari women.
These sessions will bring together women who have come from various parts and have discussions about the diversity in the way that they think of these aspects.