Why In News?
Sarmoli of Uttarakhand was awarded the best tourism village of the country in a program organized in Delhi on the occasion of 'National Tourism Day' on September 27, 2023.
- Kamakshi Maheshwari, Nodal Officer of Rural Tourism India, Ministry of Tourism, honored village Sarpanch Mallika Virdi with the award.
- A massive cleanliness drive has been planned by the Tourism Ministry. The Government of India identified 108 tourist places for the launch of the cleanliness campaign. Along with these 108 sites, this campaign will also be run at other places of tourist importance.
- The campaign aims to clean up litter, ensure cleanliness and ban single use plastics (SUP) and promote the use of eco-friendly substances. For wider reach, students from schools and colleges and members of Youth Tourism Club (YTC) have also been included.
- The Best Rural Tourism Village Awards were given for promoting and preserving cultural heritage and sustainable development through tourism, which included 35 rural tourism villages from across the country in the gold, silver and bronze categories with 5, 10 and 20 villages respectively. In these, Sarmoli village of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand was given the gold medal.
- It is noteworthy that in 2004, a community-based home stay and nature program was started under the guidance of Sarpanch Mallika Virdi of Sarmoli village. Mallika Virdi was the Sarpanch of Van Panchayat twice (2004 to 2010 and 2017 to 2022). Under his leadership, work was done to promote nature tourism and increase efforts for forest and water conservation. He made efforts to revive the forest and especially the Mesar Kund.
- From the year 2007 Messer Van started organizing a popular forest fair called Van Kautik as well as a nature and culture festival called Himal Kalasutra. During Himal Kalasutra, bird festival, butterfly and insect festival, traditional food festival, Damo Nagada Dhol festival, an innovative high-altitude marathon called Khaliya Challenge and many such events are organised.
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