Also known as the ‘middle land’ between India and Tibet, Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain valley. It is located at an altitude of 12,500 ft above mean sea level and experiences extremely harsh weather conditions. The roads leading to Spiti are still quite difficult and hence the place is considered inaccessible by many.
In 2018, Spiti was named as one of world’s top ten tourist destinations by Lonely Planet. It is hardly surprising then that the number of tourists visiting this place is increasing by the day. This boom of the tourism industry has brought with it a plethora of social and environmental challenges. Earlier, indigenous knowledge about how to preserve the ecosystem would be passed on from generation to generation, but that has been increasingly getting diluted due to setting up of formal schooling system. While school education is helpful in providing an exposure to the outside world, it is unable to prepare children to overcome challenges that are cropping up in their immediate environment. This, together with the scarcity of publicly available materials on these topics, is leading to a critical information gap. Unless this gap is bridged, Spitians are likely to find themselves unable to take actions towards the preservation of their environment.