SAUR, GARHWAL, UTTARAKHAND
During a field trip with the organization Navdanya in 2006, Hege and me came to visit Balbeer Singh Rawats home in Saur for the first time. It became an eye-opener and a most enjoyable stay. It was already at that time clear to us that we had to come back. This time we stayed for two weeks and got to know the daily life of the Rawat family and the inhabitants of Saur. With a mixture of english, hindu and the local language garhwalli, we managed both complicated philosophic talks about religious practice and making hilarious jokes after dinner. It was only a question of having enough time.
The village Saur is situated at an altitude of 2000 meters in a very steep landscape in Himalaya.
The houses are traditionally made of wood and stone but concrete and tin roofs are getting more and more common. The house holds are simply equiped, many without toilet and running water but with a parabol antenna on the roof. Some houses have solar panels. There is electricity in the village which is very unstable and with quite dangerous installments. Inside the houses there are rarely any heating, so to keep warm you either move around or stick to the fire in the smoky kitchen.