Foreword from the Author

Receiving State Award from the Chief Minister of Sikkim during independence day 2006

Receiving State Award from the Chief Minister of Sikkim during independence day 2006

My book on Sikkim and subsequently this website have been the result of my love for travelling and trekking.

 

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The author getting a website launched by His Holiness Dalai Lama at Rabongla in March 2012.

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The author receiving the Award of Excellence for promoting tourism in Sikkim from Minister Tourism on World Tourism day 2016

My earlier job of installing radio-communication equipment,  solar panels and wind generators for the Police Department  took me to the remotest corners – some involving days of walking through lush green valleys and over high passes like Donkiala, Sebula,andLungnalabivoacing in caves – and enabled me to experience Sikkim’s rustic splendour and  village life and study the local way of living closely which has been described at many places in this website. I am grateful to many people – yakherders, porters, monks, villagers, police personnel and foresters posted in remote areas -who regaled me with stories of local beliefs and folklore during my travels and have indirectly contributed to my  book  and subsequently to this website by providing a wealth of information.
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During a recruitment examination in 1991 in which I was a  member of the Interview Board,  many local candidates knew more about Indian and European History  than about say the Chogyals of Sikkim.  The majority of the population of Sikkim does not have a living memory of the monarchy, and therefore they have no knowledge about that time. There are also no text books on Sikkim History in the schools. Although a lot of information on Sikkim history is available on the internet, there still seems to be a disinterest specially amongst youngsters on this subject.  This prompted me to do  a  chapter on Sikkim Quiz and it became the hall mark and Upper Selling Point of my book and website for candidates appearing for examinations.

As a member of a local environment group “Green Circle”, I was intensively involved in ecology related  work in Sikkim – organising environment  and afforestation camps, workshops, quiz programmes, cleaning up fragile areauthorsebu2as like the Tsomgo lake of garbage and implementing the AUSAID funded Litter and Spit Free Zone on M.G. Marg (Gangtok’s Main Market)- which involved organising street
plays, workshops and putting up dust bins. The spick and span pedestrainised M.G. Marg is the result of our efforts. As a part of our advocacy programme  we  took initiatives like getting the authorities to agree to make it compulsory for all vehicles plying to Alpine areas to carry small garbage bags so that passengers do not throw out wrappers   and vitiate the landscape.   Thanks to my “Green Circle” friends with whom I enjoyed working.

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My association with the Syari Government Employees Welfare Assocaition gave me an opportunity to use innovative methods to resolve parking problems in the locality.  Door to door collection of garbage was initiated by me. These initiatives resulted in creation of jobs: parking attendants and garbage collectors. By viewing pauthor rest camparking and garbage not as problems but opportunity  and resource we opened up whale of avenues. On the anvil is an iniativeto  make the locality Zero Waste.

As Vice President of  National Association  for the Blind, Sikkim Branch and also member of various other organisations dealing in disablities, I was involved in use of Information Technology tools to make the disabled acquire skills that would make them employable and not reliant on compassion and charity. What could be more fulfilling and satisfying in life than picking up disabled children languishing at home  from remote areas of Sikkim, putting them through a vocational training 20150903_081934programme and then getting them employment. The outcome of my experiences with these associations gave me an insight  on various issues dogging Sikkim and have been reflected in the book and website. It also prompted me to add a section on NGOs and Community Initiatives.

Thanks to all those with whom I was associated. These experiences contributed in making me a strong advocate for social re-engineering; using community initiatives  and change management to benefit the citizens

And finally,  I am grateful to my wife Sunila and daughter  Vernica for their immense patience and bearing with my rather irregular routine while I was preparing the manuscript. Thanks also to AshishPradhan who has helped mauthorkecho2e with the maps.

They say even the height of Mount Kanchendzonga is increasing a couple of centimeters every year. Therefore in order to keep abreast with the changes, I endeavour to take out an edition every year so that all the facts and figures are updated. Twice or thrice every year when I realise that the only exercise that I am getting is pushing files from the IN tray to the  OUT tray in the office, I put on my trekking shoes and go out exploring authorrhubarband this enables me to add  new trekking  routes to the book and website.  What began as a 40 page booklet in 1990  as Sikkim’s first guide book has now evolved into a few hundred pages and a vibrant website and keeps growing with time.

I am sure this  information packed website will be found useful by the readers

Rajesh Verma E mail: r_verma32@hotmail.com; Mobile: 9434186291

Click here to read reviews and comments  on the book and website 

Click here to read articles written by the author on various issues

Click here to go to the blog  sikkimverma-travels.blogspot.com

Click here to go to the blog vermatravel.wordpress.com