Fellow Since 1992
Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation
This profile was prepared when Kalyan Paul was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
Recognizing that local bodies know their diverse ecosystems far more intricately than macro-development planners, Kalyan is helping to organize them into independent forums united through a loose but broad organizational structure. He is also helping these local groups systematically at every stage of their launch and growth: from planning and action research to community organization, fundraising, managerial training, and the introduction of appropriate technology options.On another level, Kalyan's organization–Grassroots: The Pan-Himalayan Development Foundation–is a platform that facilitates the free flow of ideas and solutions regarding sustainable land use, appropriate technology, and technical skill transfers. By thus bringing the region's local groups together, he hopes to create a movement pressing competently for ecological restoration across the western and central Himalayas. Most of the major rivers of northern India rise in this region's threatened mountains.Kalyan also works to provide practical economic alternatives to destructive exploitation, noticeably the initiation of new small-scale or cottage industries, both independently and jointly with trade organizations. Grassroots will also plan and be responsible for the implementation of projects designed to promote environmental conservation. One such example is the installation of solar energy systems in urban centers in the western and central Himalayas.