The Community Shop

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Our Story

Bharatmata Gram Vasini, when translated in the words of the Indian poet, Sumitra Nandan Pant, means "The soul of our motherland, India, is in its villages". 

International visitors at the Harela shop

Nestled on the eastern boundary of Corbett Tiger Reserve is located the forest village of Ringora. A paradise for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, majority of the population of Ringora depends on agriculture, tourism and forest trade for their livelihood. One of the last remaining colonies of White Back Vultures takes residence within the boundaries of the village.

Who We Are

Amidst the rapid expansion of tourism in the area and the lure of ‘cash rich’, urbanization has drawn many villagers, particularly men, away from traditional livelihoods promising financial security and bright futures. In many villages few crops are now being grown and very few livestock kept (apart from those required for home dairy supply) which has been affecting the social structure of the rural society. The local culture has been dying a slow but certain death. Hence was born the idea of Harela- the Community shop.

The name Harela is derived from a Kumaoni festival celebrated in the month of July to welcome monsoon and hence new harvest. It began as a concept to create alternative livelihoods for villagers and a positive dependency on forests.

At Harela, we focus on obtaining produce from indigenous sources hence directly assisting our women entrepreneurs through trade and not aid. We strive to stop village migration by changing the perspective of villagers, the sentinels of our forests.



Conservation Committed

By providing an alternate income stream to pahadi women, we aim to reduce human-wildlife conflict - as dependency on forest produce reduces, so does the pressure on the forest.

Multiple sources of income also provide resilience and security to local women, at a time when climate change disproportionately affects women and girls due to disasters, water shortage, forest fires, and increasing conflict with wildlife.

Completely Organic

We obtain produce from indigenous sources.

Women Empowerment

With the goal of mitigating woman-tiger conflict, we aim to empower our women and reduce their reliance on forest resources.

Grass Root Level

We strive to work at the grass root level to increase understanding of tiger behavior and provide alternative livelihoods through time, patience and hard work.