By: Saroj Thakur
It was by chance and not design that I came to know about HimVani! Why is it that we take for granted all those things that we get so easily? Like the fresh air that we breathe, all those qualities that set us, Himachalis, apart from others, were always taken for granted by me. It was travelling out of state and interactions with many others that make us see and appreciate values, attitudes and beliefs that make us different.
I came in contact with HimVani when I posted a write-up “What makes me proud of being a Himachali” on my personal bog. And after that it is history.
I came to learn about a group of young professionals committed sincerely to put Himachal on world map by giving it a global face. The band of these young people made me welcome; though initially, I had some inhibitions to join a group of much younger people. The portal provides ample freedom to the budding writers to interact, discuss and comment upon issues concerned with Himachal. The list was endless, making it possible for people from various walks of life to contribute.
I found the website to be especially useful to make me aware of different cultural practices prevalent in diverse areas of Himachal. The folklores, the myths and the culinary practices, though diverse, aimed at oneness. The best example of unity in diversity!
The social responsibility that every conscious portal must have was not only a showcase but also a real commitment for HimVani. The active participation of HimVani in UTSAV India-2006 speaks volumes about the real aim behind this portal, i.e. to bring the media and technology to the doorsteps of people. The generation of funds for persons like Surti and Vasudha, who needed financial support, HimVani has fulfilled such a service to society that remains a punch line and nothing more for many NGOs! HimVani made its presence felt in the corridors of the power when the reports of HimVani were given importance by the people at the helm of the affairs and corrective measures were implemented.
HimVani aims at bringing out a change in the society by transforming this small Hilly state to a tech-savvy, all-inclusive, society. Not a big dream for HimVani if we go by the response of the people. The readership, the contribution of write-ups and the comments–if they can be the parameter of the popularity of a web portal, indicate a generated awareness among the common masses about HimVani. What more a website, started by a group of zealots, aim for within a year!
Another noticeable change that I observed was regarding the latest news about Himachal made available on the site to all those who crave for news from their home state. It is not a mean achievement keeping in view the fact that almost all the members of the team HimVani are professionals in their respective fields and none is a full-timer working for HimVani.
But going by the dictum that there is always scope for improvement, we have to think beyond the present and have a vision for HimVani. Though News about Himachal is what HimVani should provide to its readers but along with, if it starts with a project to record information regarding Himachali culture, practice and way of life, this website can become a store house of everything pertaining to Himachal.
My vision for HimVani is – a search engine that makes all information about Himachal – from small to the big, from ancient to the most modern, from ground level to the highest echelon of society – available at the click of the mouse. Not a big and unachievable dream if we all promise to contribute effectively. We might have achieved a milestone in a year but much more needs to be done so that HimVani stands for all information about Himachal on the internet! Amen!