Dehradun: In the past few years, Uttarakhand has witnessed the launch of several start-ups aimed at strengthening the state’s rural economy while striking a balance between profitability and ecological conservation.
The growth of one such start-up — Madogiri — has been quite impressive. Launched in August 2020 by a group of local youths, Madogiri is involved in a range of businesses, including running a pizzeria, organising trekking activities, selling indigenous products, among others. However, the USP of the enterprise is its eco-friendly approach towards all its businesses.
The products served at their food joints are all made from indigenous ingredients. The company also sells products like pickles, honey and others that are made without harmful chemicals by the locals of the hill areas. The company officials claim that at least 500 residents of hill districts in Uttarakhand are associated with their business operations.
Besides, the venture also conducts plantation drives across the state. In fact, Madogiri has been working in close coordination with the state forest department since their successful plantation drive in Mussoorie in July 2020.
Speaking to TOI, Stuti Panwar, senior Madogiri official, said, “The name Madogiri — which loosely translates to a mountain of thoughts — sums up our enterprise in a way. We want to bring about a positive change through our start-up, pushing the local economy while focusing on sustainable development.”
Shivam Nath, in-charge of Madogiri’s organic products business, said, “Our business model will strengthen the rural economy, thereby increasing employment opportunities in the hills.”
Yet another state-based venture, Bhuli, aimed at strengthening the state’s rural economy, is working to revive the craftsmanship of the Himalayan region. The company — founded by Tanya Singh and Tanya Kotnala in 2017 — ropes local artisans for the manufacture and sale of handicrafts. Recently, Bhuli sold more than 1,000 calendars that were part of its “Costume Culture of India” series.
Similarly, Vill ‘O Tale, a startup launched by Shuddha Satwa Ghosh and Soumen Karmakar, is reviving tourism in ghost villages to check migration from hills. “Uttarakhand has several picturesque ghost villages. We believe that locals, who have gone to other places in search of employment opportunities, can be brought back here and migration can be checked as tourists would love to stay in homestays in these unmarketed villages,” said Ghosh.
In a bid to reduce carbon footprint, Vill ‘O Tale — currently working in five Himalayan states — has tied up with IIT Roorkee to secure an eco-friendly heating device made out of pine leaves. “The villages of Uttarakhand have immense tourism potential as tourists love to stay with locals, eat local food, and engage in various local activities,” added Ghosh.
(By Abhilasha Negi)