Nepal is safe to travel After Covid-19 pandmic

Nepal Tourism after COVID-19

Everything shall come to pass

We all know that the whole market is crashed because of Covid-19. People has suffered physically and mentally because of the virus. Like every other industry Tourism industry has been hit hard by the virus. Covid-19 has shaken us to our very soul, no doubt on that but is it the end of tourism? Are we forever going to cancel travel plans? Is humanity going to give up the discovery and exploration of nature?

Let’s think about it, like everything else in the past, this shall too pass.

Impact of COVID-19

Nepal, country of Asia, lying along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It is a landlocked country located between India to the east, south, and west and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north. Its territory extends roughly 500 miles (800 kilometres) from east to west and 90 to 150 miles from north to south. The capital is Kathmandu.

Tourism is one of Nepal’s largest industries. Tourism revenue in 2018 accounted for 7.9% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supported >1.05 million jobs, with the expectation of providing >1.35 million jobs by 2029. Nepal hosted 1.19 million foreign tourists in 2019, and the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ campaign, officially introduced on 1 January, aimed to attract 2 million tourists, generate $2 billion and create thousands of new jobs.

However, on 23 January, the first case of imported COVID-19 was detected in Nepal. In response to cases worldwide increasing exponentially and amid growing public concern, the government suspended the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ initiative on 3 March. Shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 13 March, the government suspended all permissions for mountaineering expeditions and suspended all visas.

After confirmation of the second imported case on 23 March, the government locked the country down and suspended all national and international flights. Massive cancellations of hotel and tourist bookings followed, resulting in widespread unemployment, loss of income and threatened livelihoods for thousands. The collapse of international and domestic tourism followed a 2% drop in tourist arrivals in January 2020 compared to 2019. Over 10 000 tourists who had entered Nepal before the lockdown was also left stranded, although many of them were eventually repatriated.

International and domestic commercial flights and chartered flights to Nepal are being operated from Sept 1, 2020. All incoming international passengers are required to meet and fulfil all the requirements of arrival protocols.

Current Scenario of Covid-19 in Nepal

These days things are beginning to return to normal routine in Kathmandu and other less affected cities after the lockdown was eased. The government eased the lockdown in different parts of the country as per the number of cases in the area. The high-risk areas which are the southern part of the country sharing an open border with India still remain under lockdown to control the outbreak.

As of Feb 20 2021, there are 273,263 cases of COVID-19 registered in Nepal. Out of which, 269,619 have recovered with active case standing at 3,644. Sadly, 2061 deaths have been registered in Nepal until Feb 20, 2021. Today as of  Feb 20, 2021 things are back to normal in Nepal and daily works have begun to resume. The vaccination has started in Nepal too and the government plans to vaccinate the majority of the population by Mid 2021.

Yet again, this shall too pass like everything in the past. Now we know better about how our small negligence can end up being a disease, we know why hygienic is of utmost importance and we’ll follow the guidelines of health experts and open the door of the New World.

Opportunities for New Pathways

Despite the fact that tourism industry is highly vulnerable to numerous environmental, political, and socio-economic risks, it has previously shown its resilience, as seen in the aftermath of the Maoist insurgency or the great earthquake of 2015. The nature and intensity of COVID-19, however, indicates that this crisis is different, and could lead to profound and long-term structural changes to tourism as a socio-economic activity and industry. Nonetheless, the crisis also provides unprecedented opportunities to redefine the tourism sector’s relationship with nature, climate and the economy and to transform the sector. The following initiatives may contribute to substantial, meaningful and positive transformation of tourism in post-COVID-19 era, in addition to implementing and communicating health protocols.

First, sustainability should be the core of growth of all sectors of tourism by addressing climate change and wherever possible, to move towards a circular economy or regenerating economy. One of the key tourism sectors in Nepal is adventure tourism, including trekking, rafting, mountaineering and other adventure activities. This can be restructured by blending natural and cultural experiences to make tourism sustainable. We need to learn lesson from past mistakes of prioritizing quantity over quality, and destruction over sensible development that can positively influence quality of life and the environment for communities dependent on tourism. For this to happen, the portfolio of tourism market has to be diversified; tourism infrastructure and service provisions, particularly at remotely located destinations have to be improved; high value tourism destinations have to be developed selectively in contrast to ‘free for all’ destinations, and professionalism has to be built in sustainable tourism practices.

Second, technology is at the core of the solution for combating COVID-19 and reopening the economy. There has been an increased use of robotics, artificial intelligence, and humanoid robots in delivering materials, disinfecting and sterilizing public places, detecting and measuring body temperature, providing safety and security to contain the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals, airports, hotels, restaurants and community in general. In addition, big data has been used for fast and real-time decision making. While the potential job losses incurred by the adoption of this technology will be a source of controversy, it is highly likely that the travel and tourism sectors will use new digital technology after the COVID-19 pandemic becomes less serious as digitalization and innovation provide opportunities to scale up operational procedures that make travel safe and seamless and minimize wastes. In addition, it would help enhance the competitiveness and agility of MSMEs to reach customers, provide added value jobs and implement effective health protocols. It is therefore necessary that the government unveil recovery packages with a special focus to encourage maximum use of new technology, promote digitalization of MSMEs and invest in digital skills.

Third, the success of the tourism sector depends on the adoption of an approach towards building partnerships at all levels, consistent with vertical coordination between the three tiers of government – federal, provincial and local – as well as the adoption of evidence-based policy with a focus on community wellbeing. It also demands enhanced coordination across sectors supporting tourism such as air and road transport, technology, trade, investment, education, culture and strong public/private partnership beyond the concept of existing Nepal Tourism Board. Fourth is the promotion of domestic tourism. One can observe an increasing trend of more than 6 million middle-class Nepalis visiting different parts of the country for trekking, paragliding, rafting, bungee jumping, rock climbing, jungle safari, and sightseeing. Domestic tourism can have a positive economic impact at both the national and local level. It not only creates employment opportunities for the local people but also promotes local entrepreneurship. From a national perspective, it helps balanced regional development, promotes inclusive growth, and reduces vulnerability of the tourism by reducing dependency on foreign tourists.

Travel is Safer in Nepal after 2020.

Nepal is a landlocked country, the only way people from western countries come to Nepal is by Air.  NTB (Nepal tourism board) is working hard to do everything possible for making travel as safe as it can be without any hassle and extra struggle. The precaution guidelines which are actively in action for the time when International flights will be back to normal. As per the social distancing protocol by WHO, Nepal has always been the country where greeting is done with Namaste or Namaskar which is done with two hand joints together with a significant distance. As per the guidelines by Nepal Tourism Board, Gears like Temperature screening device, Sanitizer, high-quality mask, and all other equipment on that particular date will be at your service for all safety precautions.

Earlier in the autumn, a team of mountaineers from Bahrain were given special permission to scale Mount Lobuche and Mount Manaslu. They were made to follow all the new rules placed by the government and reported no problems. The success of the expedition was celebrated by the mountaineering community in Nepal, as was the government decision to reopen to all qualified mountaineers and trekkers in October.

Why you should visit Nepal after coronavirus?

  • COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates to us the value of freedom – the freedom to travel and to appreciate the mother nature. Well, Nepal can be a perfect destination as every activity in Nepal revolves around finding yourself and your existence.
  • Nepal hosts a diverse array of landscapes and is a country of contrast. Nepal is a small nation in terms of its size but the country portrays diverse landscapes, cultures and religions, providing lifetime experiences.
  • Travelling to Nepal is affordable as compared to other countries. Post pandemic travel around the world is going to be expensive. Nepal may just be a perfect pick for you as the country offers a wide range of choices in terms of accommodation, food, travel etc.
  • The mountainous region of Nepal is not touched by COVID-19. Most of the COVID-19 affected areas in Nepal are in the southern part, close to India border. The mountainous regions are not in the COVID hot spot areas.
  • The weather and air quality have improved due to travel restrictions and lockdown. Clear skies with vistas stretching for miles are visible and there has been a drastic reduction of litter and waste in the mountains.
  • The people of Nepal needs your help now more than ever. You can help by visiting the country and we are sure you will not be disappointed.

 

Hiking/Trekking can be the best idea after Covid-19.

We know the more we’re in social gatherings, the more chances of getting affected but it doesn’t mean you have cancelled all travel plans right? Matter of fact Nepal is one of the few countries where Covid-19 cases are decreasing rapidly! but still, we need to take every precaution possible for sure.
So what might be the sensible way to deal with this kind of scenario?

Most of the trekking regions in Nepal are less affected by the coronavirus. Although the virus has spread throughout the nation, the mountainous region of Nepal has seen only a few numbers of cases. Till date, there is no positive case in Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and other major trekking regions. The local governing authorities have placed a strict quarantine and testing protocols to make sure that the virus is not traced in these regions.

The Tourism Ministry has requested all the lodge owners and local authorities to mandate the safety protocol strictly and to adhere by the guideline in day to day operation to gain back the confidence of international and national tourists. Major popular trekking areas such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp etc. may see fewer numbers of trekkers than expected once travel restriction has been lifted but you should still be cautious and follow the safety protocols strictly. We have also mandated new norms on our trek to help mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.

Furthermore, including travel, tourism, adventure, and nature, Nepal has a distinct quality of spirituality. This lockdown and pandemic have affected the mental health of millions of people. Travel with spiritual therapy for the mind is a must indeed for the current situation. Nepal assures the presence of such a relaxed and scenic environment that is integral to bettering one’s mental health. Rather than going to mass gatherings, one can go for nature exploration, trekking/ hiking which you might actually love to do after staying at home for almost a month or more depending on the city you live in. At the same time, the wonderful mountain views provide an amazing opportunity for complete physical and mental rejuvenation. The charming view of the horizon and sun rays’ kisses over the snow-capped mountains is enough to render you speechless and provide you with all the enjoyment you crave. In fact, the best views from the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Region treks make your journey full of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Nepal Welcomes You After the Covid-19

nepal visa after CovidThere is no need to cancel or alter your Nepal holiday plans for 2021 as of now and the tourism ministry is looking at every possible option for opening up the tourism in Nepal, whilst keeping the safety of travellers and workers a paramount. We are optimistic that 2021 will run as planned as the flights, hotels, lodges have all resumed safely catering to the needs of tourists.

The tourism industry, workers and local people of this country need your support now more than ever to sustain.  We are sure the normal days will return soon and in the meantime take care and stay safe. We look forward to welcoming you and guiding you in the Himalayas with better safety and experience.

 

Special Entry Requirements for Trekkers and Mountaineers:

 

According to guidelines approved by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation for mountaineers and trekkers:

  • Trekkers and mountaineers may be allowed into Nepal as of October 17.   Please contact your travel and trekking agency for more up to date information.

If implemented, the guidelines provide that:

  • Trekkers and mountaineers must obtain a visa before arrival through their travel and trekking agencies.
  • Trekkers and mountaineers upon arrival must submit negative results from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departing their home country.
  • Trekkers and mountaineers must have a hotel booking for a 7-day quarantine in Nepal.
  • Trekkers and mountaineers must possess insurance of at least $5,000 USD against COVID-19.
  • On the fifth day of quarantine, trekkers and mountaineers must take a PCR test at their own expense before proceeding with their trek or expedition.

 

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Expedition Guide in Nepal

Mr. DA RINJI SHERPA was born in the Khumhu, Pashanglahmu R.D 01 a beautiful remote village of popular trekking destination Solukhumbu, Nepal. His birth in the Himalayan region of Nepal drew his passion towards mountaineering and climbing. His hobbies are exploring new places, climbing new heights and collecting information’s by reading books.  He can fluently speak Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan and English Languages. With years of climbing and mountaineering experience he is now working as a professional Trekking and Mountain Guide. He also possesses cultural and traditional knowledge of camping.

Mr. DA RINJI SHERPA is a professional guide certified by the Nepal Government and NMA, as well as a Trekking and Mountain Climbing Guide from the Mountain Climbing and Trekking Guides Association. Starting his professional career as a mountain guide in 2013 by Everest South Col expedition his achievements so far is remarkable. His achievements till the date are

S.N Year Name Season height elevation Group
1. 2013 Everest Spring South Col Reached Indian Army (South Side)
2. 2014 Everest Spring Camp 2 Reached British Gorkha ( South Side)
3. 2015 Everest Spring Camp 2 Reached British ( South Side J.G)
4. 2016 Lakpa Ri Spring 7000 Summit Tibet (J.G)
5. 2017 Everest Spring 8848 Summit British Gorkha (South Side)
6 2018 Everest Spring 8848 Summit HA Everest Exp (South Side)
7 2019 Everest Spring South Col Reached HA Everest Exp (South Side)
8 2019 Amadablam Oct 6812 Summit

Moreover Mr. Sherpa has also climbed number of trekking peaks in Nepal several times. He holds a record of climbing Island Peak more than 25 times. Likewise he has climbed Langdak 2 times, Lobuche Peak 7 times, Pokalde Peak 7 times, Chulu West 2 times, Kyjo Ri 2 times and Yela Peak 3 times. With all this he has become one of our most experienced mountain guides, and shows the high level of professionalism. His care for his climbing clients has fulfilled our expectations that we expect from every Sherpa guides.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Things to Do In Nepal tourism

Amadablam mountain view

10 Things to Do In Nepal tourism

Nepal is naturally and culturally blessed country which lies between two giants China and India in South East Asia.  Nepal offers you many things to experience, there are many things to do and many things to observe like Boating, rafting, mountaineering, paragliding, bungee jumping, trekking, sightseeing and many more. Here we suggest you the Best 10 things to do in Nepal.

Way to Mt Everest 8848m
  1.  Mountaineering

Among the 10 highest peaks in the world, eight, including the highest peak Mt. Everest, lies in Nepal. As mountaineering has become popular throughout the world, Nepal is considered as the best place for mountaineers. Expedition on Pumori, Amadablam and Baruntse are considered the popular among 6000 & 7000 meter peaks whereas Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Manaslu, Lhotse, and Everest are the 8000 meter peaks for the challenging mountaineering in Nepal. There are four mountaineering seasons for mountaineering in Nepal: spring (March-May), summer (June-August), autumn (September-November) and winter (December-February).

Group of mountaineer

Peak climbing is alike mountaineering but climbing in small trekking peaks (ranging from 5587 to 6654 meters), which any fit and fine trekkers can climb and no previous mountaineering experience is needed. Peak climbing in Nepal offers you the best adventure trekking and expedition experience to both experienced trekkers and novice climbers. Climbing these trekking peaks in Nepal is the first step for those climbers who are planning for mountaineering in the future. Among the identified 1310 peaks above 6000 meter, one quarter are officially opened for Peak climbing. Island Peak Climbing, Mera Peak Climbing and Lobuche Peak Climbing and some of climbing peak in Nepal.

Trekkers Group

Trekking in Nepal is served as per interest of trekkers worldwide, there are easy, moderate and strenuous trekking destinations in the Nepal which depends upon your interest and availability of time. Trekking in Nepal is all about exploring the beautiful nature and the flora and fauna residing on it with highs and lows of the trekking trails and lifestyles and culture of the indigenous people residing in remote corners. Everest base camp Trek, Annapurna base camp Trekking, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Helambu valley Trek and Mustang Trek are some of the best trekking package in Nepal.

Heritage site of Nepal

Cultural tour, historical places tour, educational tour and honeymoon tour are some of the tour packages in Nepal. Nepal offers best tour destination for leisure and adventure holidays for tour in Nepal. Tours in Nepal gives you a different experience while visiting various culturally and naturally blessed touristic sites like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini etc. The vast diversity of the people, their culture, language and traditions will attracts everyone. The two predominant religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, are ever present, with a huge variety of gods and goddesses, numerous temples, stupas and monasteries, and depict the deep faith of the people. These are the reasons you can experience best tour in Nepal.

 Helicopter tour is for those people who have limited time or unable to get so close to the glistering mountains by foot. Nepal Helicopter tour offers you a variety of Helicopter tour programs In Nepal as per your interest. Everest Kalapattar Helicopter Tour, Muktinath Helicopter Tour, Mt. Everest Helicopter Tour, Helicopter Pilgrimage Tour are some of them. Nepal helicopter tour over the Himalayas offers you the magnificent adventure, inspiring scenery, magnificent peaks and beautiful scenic countryside. The most spectacular flight takes you very close to the world’s highest mountain range with this type of helicopter tour of Nepal.

Nepal is rich in bio-diversity, Himalayas are famous for trekking, peak climbing and mountaineering activities whereas the Terai low land tropical forests are famous for the habitat for wildlife which are best for jungle safari activities. There are 9 National Parks, 6 conservation areas, 3 wildlife reserves and 1 hunting reserve In Nepal. Visitors will get chance to see most of the great variety of wildlife. Jungle safari in Nepal package program includes elephant ride safari, canoe rides, nature walks, birds watching tour, Tiger tracing tour and tours around the villages.

 Nepal is regarded as the World’s Best Destination for White Water Rafting & Kayaking because of the water descending direct from the Himalayas. With such warm rivers, a semi-tropical climate, impressive geography, exotic cultures, wildlife, friendly welcoming people and magnificent mountain surrounding rafting in Nepal will makes your holidays memorable and unforgatable. Nepal has many rivers for rafting and kayaking such as Trishuli River, Seti River, Sunkoshi River, Kali Gandaki River, Bhotekoshi River, Arun River, Marsyangdi River, Karnali River, Tamor River etc.

The ultimate thrill of a Bungee jump and Paragliding can be experienced in Nepal which might be the best site in the world. Nepal’s first bungee jumping site is situated 160m over the wild Bhote Kosi River located close to Nepal/Tibet border. Now, Pokhara is also featured with a new adventurous and ever waited dreamland Bungee Jump. And again Pokhara is one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, with stable thermals, convenient take-off and landing zones, the safety of a large lake and incredible mountain views. Bungee Jumping and Paragliding is one of the thing you should do in Nepal.

  • Volunteering

There are a variety of volunteer & internship programs in Nepal which to implement sustainable developments which promote positive change for Nepal.  Schools, Orphanages, Buddhist Monasteries, Women’s Groups, school for Mentally & Physically Disabled Children, Physiotherapy Hospitals and Health Clinics, Internship in Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and Speech therapy, Teaching, Child Development, Public Health, Environment and Conservation, Public Interest, Women  Empowerment, Youth Empowerment, Adventure and Volunteering, Journalism, and Construction are some of the field where volunteering activities can be performed in Nepal.

  1. Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and Meditation will help you achieve the different dimensions of health-physical, mental, spiritual and sensorial. As there are many peace and calm places, Nepal is one of the best places for Yoga and meditation. There are many specialized meditation, yoga classes, traditional treatments, Ayurveda clinics, Spas in Kathmandu, Lumbini and other tourist places in Nepal. After Yoga and meditation in Nepal within the beautiful scenery of country sides very close to center of city, you will get new experience, spiritual, happiness and self –realization.

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Isha Foundation- Everest Base Camp Trekking

A Himalayan Journey to Educate Rural Children

A group of self-funded and self-motivated Isha volunteers decide to raise funds for educating rural children by trekking the highest Himalayas peaks. This is their story…Everest Base Camp Trek

isha blog article | isha vidhya | a himalayan journey to educate the rural children

 ArticleJul 10, 2019  

An Audacious Idea

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A group of courageous volunteers at Isha Foundation planned a mammoth task. They decided to climb some of the world’s highest peaks – Kala Patthar (18,519 feet) and Everest Base Camp (17,600 feet) in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas. What’s more, for some of them, it was their first ever mountain trek! There was one single cause that brought this diverse group of people together – raising funds for rural children to get an education at Isha Vidhya. Isha Vidhya is a not-for-profit education initiative by the Isha Foundation, working for the economic and social empowerment of children in rural India. 

The Adventure Yogis

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The group needed a name and aptly decided to call themselves “The Adventure Yogis.” With this, they were ready and rearing to raise money for this noble cause. It started with contribution requests to friends, family and well-wishers, and every single volunteer extensively used social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp to highlight the cause of Isha Vidhya. Leaving no stone unturned, they even sent out personalized emails to their colleagues at work. What touched people was the team’s willingness to undertake such a huge task for a selfless cause. 

The Journey Begins

More so, all these volunteers were self-funded and self-motivated volunteers from four countries around the world. They geared up to go to the Everest region in March 2019. For many of them it was the highest altitude ever attempted so far. On the 29 March, 2019, the volunteers travelled from various parts of the world to Nepal to endorse the campaign they cared deeply about. The expedition started with a helicopter ride to Lukla (2860 meters above sea level), where the trekking began towards Everest. Then the volunteers walked for about 6 to 8 hours a day, stopping in between for food and shelter. 

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Passing through the scenic Phakding, traversing through streams, hanging bridges, and plenty of colorful Buddhist prayer flags, the group finally reached the bustling Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar is a beautiful village nestled in the Himalayan range. One can see arrays of colorful shops and cozy cafes with a splendid view of snowpeaked mountains. Our Adventure Yogis halted here for acclimatization. Since oxygen levels and atmospheric pressures are low at higher altitudes, the body finds it harder to draw breath. It can be dangerous to climb higher without acclimatizing the body first. 

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First View of Mount Everest

Eager to catch their first glimpse of the Everest peak, our Adventure Yogis checked into the Everest View hotel. The first sight of the breathtakingly beautiful Mount Everest fired them up to make the journey even more! The group then continued their journey towards Tengboche, where they visited a monastery. Utmost peace was experienced, and blessings were received for the treacherous journey that lay ahead. After seven days of trekking for long hours, the group reached the snow covered town of Gorak Shep which rests at an elevation of 5164 meters. All of their fatigue drained away when they played in the snow and experienced the mesmerizing sunset. 

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Destination 1 – Everest Base Camp (EBC)

The day after reaching Gorak Shep, all the volunteers were excited to start their trek towards the Everest Base Camp as trekking at that altitude is a real challenge. Taking small baby steps on the gentle upward slopes towards Everest Base Camp, the trekkers made slow but steady progress. In spite of taking very small steps and taking many other precautions, breathing became laborious due to the thin air at such altitudes. Many shared that if it had not been for the Isha practices, they just wouldn’t have been able to do this trek that even experienced mountaineers struggle with. And then it started snowing heavily! So it was only after putting their fortitude and grit through a thorough test, about three hours later, the Adventure Yogis finally reached the Everest Base Camp (5380 meters). Being absolutely overwhelmed, emotions shaped into thankful mutterings to the universe, prayers, team hugs and tears. 

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Destination 2 – Kala Patthar Summit

The volunteers returned to Gorak Shep and some of them attempted the Kala Patthar summit (5550 meters). Kala Patthar is known to provide the most beautiful and accessible view of the Mount Everest. The view was astounding! 

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Mission Accomplished!

Finally, the volunteers descended to Lukla over the next three days and then flew back to Kathmandu. This journey had been a transforming and eye-opening one for the entire group. The mountains often teach the value of patience, endurance and gratitude. The Adventure Yogis showed exemplary courage and completed the exciting and fulfilling journey and ended up raising around USD 15,000 for Isha Vidhya. Their contribution will go a long way in helping lift the underprivileged children in rural India towards a bright future. 

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Editor’s Note: Over 5000 Isha Vidhya students are still awaiting sponsors. If you would like to give flight to an underprivileged child’s future, please donate here.

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