14-11-2017 11:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Festival celebrates cultural wisdom and rural life
Saur is a village in Uttarakhand which housed more than 60 families. However, now only a dozen families live there as the others migrated to cities in search of better opportunities. Deepak Ramola, a 25-year-old from Dehradun initiated a project of painting walls of empty village homes with bright colours and rural wisdom messages to bring into focus the state’s deserted villages.
Last week, a 3-day long ‘Ghost village festival’ was held at Saur village where tourists got a chance to experience a slice of village life in the hills. It was also a homecoming for many who had left the village. It was one of its kind experiment to reverse the trend of migration from the hills that has left many villages in Uttarakhand empty.
More than a hundred tourists and visitors participated in the festival that included folk music and cultural performances, the sampling of regional delicacies, guided treks by locals and workshops showcasing the villagers’ skills (for instance, many loved the art of making jewellery out of pine leaves).
Ramola said that the idea of having a festival came from the local fairs which used to draw crowds in villages before people started migrating. He decided to convert it into which celebrates the cultural wisdom and rural life of Saur.
Ramola’s organization Project Fuel partnered with charitable trust fund Hans Foundation to organise the festival which saw over 100 visitors stay in camps set up near the village for the 3-day duration and participate in activities.