HARELA is a Kumauni festival celebrated every year, on the onset of monsoon mostly on 16th July. On this day, people sow new crop and also plant new sapling of trees. Earlier people here, cleared forest for more and more land for farming practices. It was a form of today’s developmental practices, but our ancestors never ignored, natures and its vital role in sustaining life. And, on this particular day, afforestation practices were mandatory for all. Planting sapling along the farm land boundaries, not only helps in preventing soil erosion but it also provides a place to rest under, for farmers during farming practices. The other uses, are fodder, fodder storage (Fodder, was piled in these trees, locally called lutte, which further gives nesting place to many bird species), wood for making tools, fuel and nesting place for many bird species. And all this, is a beautiful example of reconciliation ecology, where definition of development is underlined with sustainability and conservation. It is always easy to understand and follow, when we experience any model in front, and Harela festival, itself is a great model of reconciliation ecology, which Himalayan society is experiencing and following from decades. Understanding this, we named our group, HARELA society, and explained it as – Hands applying reconciliation ecology through local archetypes.
Harela society was formed in year 2011, official registered under society registration act of 1860, in April 2012 (Reg. no. 2/2012-2013). Few environment and wildlife researchers from Uttarakhand, were the pioneers who formed this organization.
Objective of Harela society can be understood under following:
Currently Harela society is working more on community awareness. Through our innovative ways of forming a team, which is properly aware on conservation issues, we were successful in forming a team of more than 150 volunteers, in Pithoragarh. It is not easy, to get into minds of youth towards conservation issues, so we reached them through, activities like photo walks, wall painting, music and Theatre. And while conducting these activities, we introduce them, with conservation issues, and then involve them with our on field conservation activities like regular clean ups, disaster management practices (like forest fire, rescue and relief work during disasters, animal rescues), water stream rival campaign, awareness programs with kids and youth like Hug a tree, Adopt a plant, natural /safe/organic Holi colors etc.
At present in Pithoragarh, we have more than 150 volunteers, out of which 50-60 are regular and available during most of our activities. They are mostly students from local schools and college. In Delhi, we have around 50 volunteers, most of them are working professionals from various fields. In Hyderabad, we have around 30 volunteers, both working professionals and students.
As mentioned above, this organization runs on volunteer basis, and we do a lot of field based activities. So, anyone who wants to join Harela society, can come directly to our activities and join. One can know about upcoming activities through our website (http://www.harela.org/) or Facebook Page. Once, you attend one of the field activity, and you are in, further you will also be notified through our whatsapp group.
Based on your experience and your interest to work with us, you can also be a part of core group, who decides activities and organization’s functioning. We also offer paid and full time work with organization, but currently it depends on availability of such funded projects.
As, a student also someone can join Harela society, for doing his project or internship online form is present in our website, you will have to fill that form too which is mandatory for all. It is need for our database.
|Online Registration Form|
Yes, surely. Anyone can donate us, it helps us in
activities. Time to time team is involved in rescue and
during disasters, so for that too you can donate us, in
kinds or funds.
Funds can be donated at following account number
|Account name||Harela society|
|Branch||SBI main branch Pithoragarh|
For any in kind support, please contact us first through email or given phone number. You can also donate field equipment to our team walki-talky, GPS, Camera, lenses, laptops, binoculars etc.
Contact email :
Phone no :