Stay at Mangar Bani: Our experience
In order to cover the story, four of our group members visited the sacred grove of Mangar Bani and stayed there for three days. Though we had our apprehensions but only once we reached there did we realise how crucial it was for covering our story.
Day 1: After travelling fro almost 2 hours, we reached the Mangar village but decided to meet the Sarpanch (village head) first. The office of the Sarpanch (it was more of a makeshift office) was at the highway itself, at a distance from the village and the forests. After interviewing the Sarpanch, we had a quick bite at a roadside dhaba itself and left for the village. The Sarpanch was kind enough to allow us to stay at his outhouse.
What was fascinating was that in the month of April, we did not require any fan, forget an AC! The weather at the Mangar village was so cool and breezy that it was actually difficult for us to believe that we are actually in Haryana, a state that is extremely hot during summers! It then struck us that maintaining a green cover is extremely important as it drastically impacts the local weather and Delhi’s temperature has risen over the years largely due to mindless deforestation.
The local gujjars at the village have their dinner at 5 in the evening and sleep early as they get up around 3 am in the morning. We had to sleep early as well since there was no electricity.
Day 2: We met the president of the Gram Vikas Samiti on the second day and interviewed him. Later, we met people from an NGO named Sukarya. By then, it was almost afternoon and we had not had a morsel of food! We came across a ration shop (luckily) and bought packets of maggie from there (there was nothing else). We cooked this maggie on a makeshift chulha (stove) our self and tried to satiate our hunger.
We met a local there called Gajraj who consented to take us inside the forest. We met another local, Munni Ram, whose family of 70-odd members stay in small huts within a huge courtyard.We had dinner at Munni Ram’s place.
Day 3: As per the plan, we met Gajraj and he took us inside the Mangar Bani forests. The sight was absolutely breathtaking and the very idea that something like this exists in the NCR region was in itself a marvelous idea, something rather tough to believe. However, certain areas in the forest have dried up too. Gajraj showed us the various dams that were built in the forest region, many of which have dried up. We later went to the famous temple of Gudriya Baba, who is the local legend at the forests. After completing our tour of the forests we visited the secretary of the Gram Vikas Samiti and later went to the Sona Gurgaon road to meet Chetan Agarwal , an expert on the Mangar Bani forests who has been researching on them since the last few years and is also an advisor the Environment Ministry.
Do check our next blog for interesting pictures from the forest as well as Mangar village.
- Stay at Mangar Bani: Our experience (mangarbani.wordpress.com)
- Mangarbani: Delhi’s last sacred forest grove (mangarbani.wordpress.com)
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Posted on April 10, 2013, in Environment and tagged Aban Usmani, ajk mcrc, Akhlas Ahmad, ancient forest, Aravalli Mountain Range, Aravalli Range, Ashish Dutta, Carrot Films, Chetan Agarwal, Civil Society Group, conflict, Convergent Journalism, Deforestation, Delhi, Devang Chaturvedi, development journalism, development versus environment, development vs environment, Down To Earth, Earth Care Optimised, Earth Day, Earth Day 2013, Ecosystems and Habitats, Environment, environment laws, environment protection, Environmentalist, Faridabad, Forest, Forest conservation, Forest under threat, google map, Gram Vikas Samiti, Green Cover, Grove, gudariya baba, Gujjar Communnity, Gurgaon, Haryana, Haryana Pollution Control Board, India, Indian Forest, Indian Forest conservation, Indian Village, infographics, interactive, interactive map, interactive timeline, Ishani K Dutta, Jamia Millia Islamia, local administration, Local Community, M.Basit, Mangar Development Plan 2031, mangar village, mangarbani, Manger, Manger bani, Mangerbani, media coverage, Mission Gurgaon Development, National capital region, National Green Tribunal, NCR, NCR Corporation, online journalism, Petition, Pia Sethi, protest against development, Real Estate Developers, Reema Behl, Sacred Grove, Sarpanch, Save Forest, Save Managar Bani, Save Mangar Bani, state government, Tehelka, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The lost forest, The Times of India, Village Development Council, Water Recharge Zone. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.