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Rural India Experience

ROSE Home Stay Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India

A Global tourist’s destination —

Travel to Rural India and stay with a home stay host.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The home stay is part of the ROSE (Rural Organization for Social elevation) Kanda.

It is regulated under the newly launched scheme the Uttarakhand Home Stay Scheme (2015) by the (Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board) in the village of Sunargaon of Kanda, District- Bageshwar, and Uttarakhand, India.

We can host tourists all year round who want to experience a real life experience in Rural India in an area of    outstanding natural beauty in the foothills of the Himalayas (elevation 1700 meters approx ).

There are good communication links with the rest of India by way of the railway station at Haldwani (Karthodam) and regular AC modern buses from Delhi. Visas cost have been reduced with the introduction of an E.visa (30 DAYS)

To access the hills and the HOME STAY you can either avail yourself to the HOSTS own transport or travel by using the unique shared taxis and of course the local buses.

Whilst staying at the HOME STAY you can be involved in the day to day life of the HOSTS family learning about the local Kumauni culture. As the home stay is based in a predominantly farming community depending on the season the activities can range from planting / harvesting rice and wheat, grass collection for the micro dairy and any other day to day work that a farm does.

The HOST provides meals that are produced with the produce from the farm or others within the area and is mainly vegetarian by nature.

During your stay here there are other opportunities to increase your knowledge about rural Education by teaching English or learning yourself some Hindi in the local school Rose kanda public school.

You can absorb the local culture by visiting various sites of local interest in the local village KANDA and the local town Bageshwar.

The HOST MR  JEEVAN VERMA  can inform you where to see  the Culture,  Heritage ,History, Environment ,Ecology, Geography, Anthropology, , Biodiversity, of this Unique area .There are also many opportunities  to see  Minerals extraction (soapstone ) ,Organic farming ,Construction / Carpentry , Jewelry goldsmith craft, Woolen craft, Bamboo craft, Blacksmith craft, Copper craft. Tea plantation

There great opportunities for Film Shooting, Photography, bird watching, walk /trekking in the surrounding area .

The HOMESTAY can be used as a base to jump off to higher elevations in the Himalayas e.g. the PINDARI Glacier

Home Stay tourism creates employment for local service providers such as transporters, Home stay family, local shops, restaurants, Agricultural producers, vegetable growers, poultry units, Micro dairy units, craft workers and others.
Mr. Jeevan Verma

By staying in the home stay you can make a big difference to people living in hill area

http://www.bageshwar.nic.in/pages/display/55-excursion
https://vimeo.com/16297812 ,

http://www.volunteeringindiahimalayarosekanda.org
www.facebook.com/ROSEKanda.volunteering

http://youtu.be/8heynT5AW1k         

Mobile- + 91 9412167186 or +91 8954868561
Email- jeevan_rosekanda@yahoo.com

Rose Kanda is located in the Bageshwar District of Uttarakhand, about 1500-1900m above sea level. It is a dispersed settlement cluster of about 30 villages, home to over 20,000 people and is some 86 kilometers from well-known Almora. Pic Src:Jeevan Verma

The story of R.O.S.E. Kanda begins in June 1988 when a small village man met a foreigner while attending a workshop. The foreigner was a member of some Volunteer sending organization who wanted a host family in a remote area to help the visiting volunteers in the country engage in rural development, disaster management, environment protection and other activities. Driven by the force of social work, this small village man, Jeevan Lal Verma accepted the offer of being host to volunteers.

In August, 1988, a group of 8 volunteers visited his home in Sunargaon, a village in Kanda, Bageshwar; and stayed for 15 days with his family. They participated in day-to-day activities of villagers, cultural exchange and social and rural development work camps. The visit was successful, and more volunteers came to his place. The volunteers were impressed by the scenic beauty, cuisine and culture of Kumaon. Some visitors shared their experience in International magazines and brought the ROSE Kanda in limelight of people. There is also a documentary made by a Canadian television on remote place like Kanda and the role of grass root works of ROSE in such area.

R.O.S.E. (Rural Opportunity for Social Elevation) is a small help group in Kanda established in collaboration with Jeevan Paying Guest Unit (JPGU), Sunargaon. Kanda is a hilly province comprising of 30 villages having population of over 20,000 people. More than 50% population in Kanda is living below poverty line. As most of people of Uttarakhand, in Kanda also the locals are dependent on agriculture, animals and nature for their sustenance.
ROSE Kanda is working on grass root level to provide opportunities to locals to actively participate in developing better life for themselves.

Activities by ROSE Kanda

It works in the field of education, health, employment, cultural integrity and ecological balance. It also promotes organic farming, art and culture of locals. It provides opportunity to volunteer in ongoing projects such as teaching. ROSE Kanda has set a local school for poorest families who cannot afford schooling. ROSE Kanda running on the donations it received by institutions, visitors or universities. Still one can donate them for their remarkable activities in Kanda. If not money, then one can donate clothes, pencils, vegetables or flower seeds, agricultural tools, medicines and many other things, and help them by volunteering also.

In JPGU, one can expect traditional settings in single or sharing rooms on the basis of need and availability, and clean toilets. One can enjoy the home-cooked traditional vegetarian Kumaoni food made from locally grown ingredients. Non-vegetarian food is served on demand. Also, ATM is located in Bageshwar which is one hour distance from Kanda. They also provide escort services from Bageshwar- Kanda, Delhi- Kanda, and Haldwani- Kanda with charges.

Some previous work of ROSE Kanda includes construction of Cattle house, Fair price shop, toilets, paths and infrastructure, irrigation canal, and income generation program for poor. It is also working on electricity program because there is unavailability of electricity after sunset. After spending the whole day in field, there is little to do for villagers after sunset, especially for children who cannot study in darkness.

Achievements of Jeevan Lal Verma

The achievements of Jeevan Lal Verma make the state government proud and honored him with Awarded First Choice Responsible Tourism Award 2005 for Best Volunteering programme, sponsored by The Imaginative Traveler, from The World Travel Market (WTM), London. He was also selected for The Pride of Uttaranchal, by Utsah, New Delhi in 2001 and Best Citizens of India 2006, by The India International Friendship Society, New Delhi. He was also honored by the state Tourism Minister Shri Prakash Pant on World Tourism Day at H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar for efforts in promoting Rural Eco / Voluntary Tourism.
The initiative by Jeevan Lal Verma emerged as an ideal example of eco-tourism and social work. It also gives confidence to locals about their cultural integrity and art which is fading away in modern times. Such grass root level works can help the people to move towards development at the same time flourishing their local art and culture also.

Check out the exclusive video Host Blaire Carson

Get in touch with Rose Kanda

Official Website of ROSE Kanda: http://www.rosekanda.info
Official Facebook Page of ROSE Kanda:https://www.facebook.com/ROSEKanda.volunteering
Rose Kanda Blog: https://rosekanda.wordpress.comGlogal Agriculture Sumit prize 10-09-2013 Jeevan Paying Guest House  23-08-2015 348 IMG_4464 Mithelda, Chirag & Tamanna 005 Mithelda, Chirag & Tamanna 070 P0l&Gerard 005 Mobile photos 241

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RaisaSpiller – Germany—

I’ve styed 10 weeks in Kanda with the Verma family & it’s just not possible to discribe all my experience and feelings.I try to explain 3 important

parts of my time here- The remembering the life style ,the School and the family .

Before i came to india also learn the fect that i can’t expect the some comfort like in Germany ,but if you explore this in reality then it’s a really big experience .

The first week wasn’t used to take a shower with out fluent hot water, but with a bucket outside the house .Ieven don’t explane a lot to get a good result .It was great to see the development of all children .

At first i can’t communicate much with them,but later start to express their needs and feelings in English like “May i go to toilet ?” or singing song like “Monkey dance” or the “Rainbow song”.

The children are so smart, i wish them all the best and hope they will continue their education also after the primary school. I am so thankful  to Mr. Verma that he runs this school and give also those poor children a chance for a better life.That’s what call a good human.please give up your project.

Now where I become so sad the family .They really treat me like a family member.Every time  Candra or Gungan was so happy no matter what –

washing cloths clean the kitchen , wash  the cow, give the cow grass,make chapati ,straight Gunja  hair or make chai for the family .I just love all family and will miss them so much .Chandra is like a bid sister and Gunja like a realy small sister.

All the evening I mostly fight with the tow boys -Gautam and Subham both like my own brothers,or played cards with Sajju the youngest son .Gautam always makes me laugh and Sibham is one of the cutest boy ever met .

One important fact i’ve learntis that the men can be really happy to have such hard working wifes.

Thanks for all !!!

If you have the chance to live with the verma family .Please do it ! Otherwise you will miss one of the best experience in your life!!!

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We run projects all year round, for people who want to experience life in rural India and the foothills of the Himalayas. These activities involve teaching at ROSE Public School,Organic farming and construction, Film Shooting, Photography, Videography , Nature walk, Biodiversity watching, Ecotourism , Educational tourism, Home stay . Hobby farms ,Tourists/Volunteers are able to live with the family and learn about our culture with enjoying the nature.
Mr. Jeevan Verma
http://www.volunteeringindiahimalayarosekanda.org
http://bageshwar.nic.in/pages/display/55-excursion
www.facebook.com/ROSEKanda.volunteering

https://vimeo.com/16297812 ,            http://youtu.be/8heynT5AW1k
Mobile- + 91 9412167186 or +91 8954868561
Email- jeevanverma@rosekanda.org  ,    jlverma.rosekanda@gmail.com

Your small change can make a big difference to people living in hill area        Raisa from Germany Jeevan Paying Guest House  23-08-2015 311 Jeevan Paying Guest House  23-08-2015 351 B-Sunargaon nature beauty 16-08-2015 024--1-- Sunargaon nature beauty 16-08-2015 027 B-Sunargaon nature beauty 16-08-2015 004

Welcome:  Very welcoming. Beds were set up for all of us and food was ready when we arrived.

Homestay: Clean, comfortable, and safe

Family and Food: The food was always delicious and we always had enough

Nature: beautiful scenery

Project: The project was a good learning experience for our participants. I wish we could have helped more with the work, but I understand that it is difficult because we do not have the skills and we do not want to take jobs away from local people.

Culture:Mithelda, Chirag & Tamanna 005 Mithelda, Chirag & Tamanna 007 Mithelda, Chirag & Tamanna 014 IMG_4487

Community: The people here were all very friendly to us, and we are happy to help this community.

Byron Walker

Byron@operationgroundswell.com

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

canada group with wedding 02-06-2016 268 canada group with wedding 02-06-2016 056 canada group with wedding 02-06-2016 007 canada group with wedding 02-06-2016 048 canada group with wedding 02-06-2016 188Welcome: I felt very welcome when I arrived at Rose. We were shown our room and fed a lovely dinner eve though it was already 10 at night.

Homestay: The rooms were spacious and very comfortable. I appreciated that Gunja went out of her way to make an extra bed so we all had our own bed to sleep on. Too bad only one of the plugs in the room worked.

Family: The family is lovely, one of the most considerate and fun families I have ever met.

Nature: Rose is situated in a very beautiful area of India. Jeevan gave us a lovely tour of the area including the fields. I also appreciate the temperate climate.

Project: I’m so glad that we were able to fund and help the toilet building project. I wish that we could have been put to better use. I felt like I did not work very hard.

Culture: I learned a lot about Indian culture here at ROSE. I appreciated being immersed in family living as well as learning about culture specifically down at the school. Your teacher were very interesting..

Community: the community in and around ROSE I found to be much more welcoming than when I was in Delhi. I appreciated how well the community allowed us to integrate into their daily lives

Service: FANTASTIC. If we needed anything Gunja or Jeevan were always there right away.

My contact information:

My name is Claire Ferguson, a Program Leader with Operation Groundswell, located in Toronto, Canada
Operation Groundswell is a Toronto based organization that organizes and facilitates 6-week educational and volunteer backpacking programs throughout the world for youth aged 18-30.

Welcome: We were warmly welcomed by the family. The guesthouse was very clean and we felt right at home! Even though it was late, they had dinner ready.
Homestay: The homestay was fantastic. Jeevan’s family is very kind and made us feel like part of the family. It was easy to spend hours lounging around the house.
Family and Food: Gunja cooks so much! I can’t believe how much food is prepared in such a small kitchen. Everything was delicious, and all our participants with allergies or particular food needs were accommodated. There was always LOTS of food, and although we aren’t used to eating so late at night, we were certainly always very hungry once dinner time came around.
Nature: The area is beautiful , although the thought of leopards made it scary to go to the bathroom at night.
Project: I think we were able to contribute what we could to the project, though we weren’t always sure we were being helpful. It wasn’t always clear who decided which member of the community would receive the toilet (whether the community at large decided, or whether the Verma family decided). It would have been nice to know more about the family that we were building the toilet for, to get to know them and their situation, or to learn more about the importance of a clean santitation system, as it is something we often take for granted at home.
Culture: Jeevan did a great job exposing is to Kamaon culture, bringing us to many temples in the area, and inviting us to part of a wedding ceremony. We weren’t really sure what the ceremony was for before we went, but we found out. More information about the marriage process would be interesting.
Community: I think we integrated really well into the Verma family, but didn’t engage much with the rest of the community. Everyone seemed very friendly and welcoming though.
Claire Ferguson
Claire@operationgroundswell.com
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
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Raisa Spiller, 20 years old from Germany                                                                                                                 spiller.raisa@gmail.com

I`m writing this report after spending 10 weeks in Sunargon and it`s just not possible to describe all my experience. It loses a lot in the telling, but I try to explain three improtant parts of my life here – circumstances, school and the hostfamily.

Before I came to Sunargon I knew the fact that I can`t expect the same comfort like in Germany, but it`s so much different to went trough this in reality. The first week i weren`t used to take a shower without running hot water, but with a bucket outside the house. I even don`t explain much more about the “toilet.” The content of my room was just a bed. Maybe that does not sound nice for other people, but i promise: That was one of the best experience. After some days I got used to this all and it was nothing special anymore. I` m sure i`ll always be thank thankful for such a comfort at my own home and respect this much more.

You aren`t making the world better while teaching poor children at school, but it`s a great step in the right direction. It was amazing to witness the development of all the children. At first the communication with them wasn`t fluent, but later they start to express their needs and feelings also in English like “May I go to toilet?” or “Please, give me a Biscuit.” I teached for my very first time, but i`m sure the children learned als something from me while studying English, doing handicrafts, playing games, dancing or singing songs like “Monkey Dance”. I wish those smart lovely children all the best and hope the`ll continue their education after primary school. I`m so thankful to Mr. Verma that he runs this school and give all those poor children a chance for a better life. That`s what I call a good human. Please, never give up this project!!!Jeevan's family with visitors 16-11-2014 Raisa with snow ball pappy 12-11-2014 Raisa with the family 12-11-2014 ROSE kids  with Raisa 11-2014 Sam UK and raisa Germany 11-2014 weding celeberation 30-11-2014

Sam Beckett, 22, UK.

beckett16@hotmail.com

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at ROSE Kanda. The two weeks I have spent with Jeevan and co have been a real eye-opener for me and an enriching experience that I will not forget.

Jeevan and his family have been fantastic during the two weeks here. Excellent Indian food is served three times a day by   Hema, Chandra and Jeevan and you cannot go an hour without the children and grandchildren of Jeevan checking up on you and offering you a cup of chai. The accommodation is very comfortable and I was so well catered for at all times. They often politely decline the offer of help at meal times to give you time to relax. As you walk into the local market, everybody is pleased to see you and many greet you with a handshake and wish you a good day, which immediately puts you at ease.

The school that Jeevan has set up is a real credit to him and the others involved. He has made it a goal of his to give the poorest of children in the areas the same chances of wealthier families and he is succeeding as the children love coming to school. I looked forward to going to the school everyday, the kids faces light up when they hear nursery rhymes in English (ring a ring a roses a class favourite) and even over the 2 weeks I have watched their English progress through playing games, singing songs and basic written work. I am no teacher, but the work I and Raja did in the time was very worthwhile and the kids respond positively to the effort you put in and love your company.

During one of the many school holidays India has, we worked clearing the fields with Hema (Jeevan’s wife) ready to grow crops. This again was a great insight into local farming techniques, I was in real admiration of the work ethic of Hema and all the other farmers in the area and it puts a lot of things in perspectives as you witness them working on the fields all day.

I would recommend a home-stay at ROSE Kanda to anybody of any age as everybody can both contribute and learn from their time here. The work of Jeevan is clearly having a positive impact to the local community and the more visitors he has the better! If I had not made plans to travel, I would stay longer and would definitely look into returning given the chance.Sam ,British  and Raisa, German taking evening snaks  15-11-2014 Sam British visitor donating toys for ROSE kids 16-11-2014 Sam ,British  and Raisa, German with host family at ROSE  on 15-11-2014 Ringa- ringa roses rhyem teaching - Sam from Uk and Raisa from Germmany 15--11-2014 Sam Uk visitor at JPGU Sunargaon 13-11-2014 Sam Uk visitor teaching to ROSE kids  on 13-11-2014 Sam from  UK  and Raisa from Germany visitors teaching to ROSE kids on   13-11-2014 Sam from  UK  and Raisa from Germany visitors teaching to ROSE school kids on  13-11-2014 Sam British visitor arrived ROSE 03-11-2014

Sapna Poti , current visitor at ROSE Kanda

Kanda is remote, in the district of Bageshwar, in the Kumauni hill range of Uttaranchal, a hilly province of northern India. It is a dispersed settlement cluster of about 30 villages, home to over 20,000 people and is some 86 kilometers from well-known Almora. Bowl-shaped Kanda valley settlements have an approximate elevation of 1400 meters to 1800 meters. The people of the area are mainly involved in agricultural farming, forestry, horticulture, tea gardening, handicraft, jewellery , and lately, mining. Soldiering is also in the Kanda blood. Many of its villagers are in the armed forces or live as retirees in Kanda, surviving on the money-order economy.

KSS is centred within the Kanda area at a distance of about 500km from Delhi and nearby to Nepal. You will find your hosts, the Verma family, based in the small village of Sonargaon, ten minutes walk from Kanda market.

Amidst the terraced lands, the Kumauni people are nestled at the foot of the astounding Himalayan range, the snow capped peaks of which stand out from behind the rich forested slopes on any sunny day. The small villages of Kanda have pure air and a healthy environment offered by the mountain scenery. The landscape is visually appealing as its terraced farming and numerous wild flowers present pleasing shades of colour to the eyes. The hills around Kanda offer an unrivalled  tranquillity.

The Kanda area is distinct for its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna, as well as its pristine scenic beauty. It is a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The whole Kumauni area is full of medicinal plants, spices and herbs, many of which grow naturally around agricultural fields and are cultivated by the local farmers.

http://www.volunteeringindiahimalayarosekanda.org

http://bageshwar.nic.in/pages/display/55-excursion

http://www.euttaranchal.com/hotels/rose-kanda-rural-homestay-bageshwar.php

http://www.facebook.com/ROSEKanda.volunteering

Mobile- + 91 9412167186 or +91 8954868561

Email-jlverma.rosekanda@gmail.com Sapna Poti at Kalika temple Kanda 02-10-2014 Sapna Poti at ROSE Offic Kanda 03-10-2014 Sapna Poti at sunargaon 02-10-2014 Sapna Poti at Vijay gold smith shop at Kanda 02-10-2014 Sapna, Subham, Anuska and Jeevan 03-10-2014 Sapna, Subham  and Anuska  03-10-2014

The drive up to Kanda was very nice, going through long winding mountain roads and beautiful scenery all the way. When I arrived at R.O.S.E Renu and Saju (Mr Verma’s daughter and son) took my bags from me and I went up to the house where I met the family and three other volunteers. Tim and Katrina are a newly married couple from the UK and Clemence is an 18 year old Belgium girl who was braving India on her own since her older brother had to go back home (I was and still am in awe of her bravery!).
I was shown around the next morning by the other volunteers and settled into to things very quickly. Tim had been excavating sand and rocks from the local rivers so that the materials could be used for building and also to improve the flow of the river. The girls had been working at the local school where Gautam (MR Verma’s Grandchild) was studying. They would go up at 9am and do the daily prayer with the class and then it was yoga. After this they would then teach until 12pm in English and return for lunch as it is the hottest time of day.

Whilst being here I have met 7 other volunteers(Tim, Katrina, Clemence, Blake, Helena, Mark and Helen) and I only spent 2 days on my own which were actually quite nice as I only got closer to the family. I have done daily grass cutting, which involves a big wheel with a blade on it and the cattle fodder is fed through the machine and you end up with finely cut fodder which apparently helps cattle digest their food better. This is a tiring exercise but an important daily task and it’s amazing how you use muscles you forgot you had but like everything is becomes easier as you go on.

I have excavated sand and stones from the rivers to help the flow of the river and to use the materials taken for building. I have done road maintenance as the roads are very uneven and have lots of potholes. I have also helped improve the drainage alongside the roads for when the storms hit. I have been involved in harvesting Soya beans. The cut plants are brought up to the house and left out to dry, once dry we would beat them hard with sticks until the pods broke open and the plants were broken down finely. Then the beans and plant leftovers could be separated out by air sifting. Using a blanket two women would create a wind flow and then the woman would drop the mix down and the leftovers and Soya beans would separate. This had to be repeated time and time again until eventually there were two separate piles. Drying of rice is also important and I have helped to gather it up into sacks once the grains have been dried out.

On one of the days here Mr Verma had been away and came back with an adopted baby girl for his daughter Dipti. There were lots of celebrations for the baby’s arrival and on the same day the cat had had a litter of four kittens ( you couldn’t write this stuff!).

Whilst being here I have visited many temples and there was a religious festival that went on for 3 days and at the climax of this festival to honour one of the Hindu Gods. Although this may sound horrible it was actually very interesting and was done very humanely. The atmosphere was electric and I have never seen so many people in and around the local temple as I saw that day, nearly every inch of space and was taken up by people and it was just amazing as normally the market is very quiet with only a handful of people at any one time.

I don’t think I could have learnt as much about the culture of India and Indian people if I hadn’t come to R.O.S.E. Living as part of an Indian family in a small and very friendly Indian community has been life changing for me and I have come to really appreciate my own family and my standard of living back at home. You don’t realize how easy our lives are until you come here and get back down to grassroots with basic tools. When you undertake any labour tasks you can’t help but think…..If only I had that tool then I could do this so much more efficiently and it would make people’s lives a bit easier to do the task.
Mc manan

Charis MC macnam

ROSE  home stay cover page

Kanda from Annapurna

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