Meet Aatmaram, a nomadic Gaddi shepherd, who lives in one of the most inhospitable geographic regions in the world - the mighty Himalayas.
He faces a daily struggle to survive and earn his livelihood, and the next generation is losing interest in taking up this occupation and carrying forward the legacy of the tribe.
Our Do Righter Pankaj Trivedi chanced upon him as he was travelling with his herd of sheep & goats. He was curious to know more about his story which Aatmaram was more than happy to share.
This is his Half Story: Aatmaram has been looking after his sheep since the tender age of 13, along with his father. He cannot think of doing anything else but this. It's his way of life, and he would not have it any other way.
During summer, as the land dries up, he hikes up to the mountains with his herd of sheep to search for greener pastures for them. During winter, when the peaks are covered with snow, he descends to the valleys.
For years, he has been climbing dangerous slopes, battling harsh climatic conditions, facing threats from wild animals and thieves - all to keep his sheep safe and sustain his livelihood.
He leads a tough life, and we just wanted to make it a little easy for him.
To help make his life a bit easier, we decided to provide him with a basic survival kit - a tent to keep him warm and protect the little lambs, two solar lamps to drive away wild animals and two sleeping bags - for him and his helper. Total Cost: Rs. 11,500/-
We asked our network of Do Righters to share this story on their networks or contribute any
amount and in no time, our first Half Story was completed. Do Righter Pankaj Trivedi wasted no time in purchasing the items from the market. The nomadic Aatmaram told us that he was moving down to the valley in a few days. We couldn't wait to find him and give him the survival kit. We asked him to come to a certain spot, where we secretly set up the tent to surprise him!
He was so overwhelmed by the love & support he got. He and his helper checked out the equipment and had huge grins on their faces.
He couldn't stop thanking Pankaj, and he even left a message for our Do Righters: "Whoever has pitched in to give me this, I am thankful to them. I pray to the Almighty to keep their families safe. This has made me very happy."