KEEP Works in tourism Sector for Environment Ram Kumar Puri, General Secretary-KEEP

Interview News

What is the full form of KEEP?

-Kathmandu Environmental Education Project.

What is the main goal of KEEP?

– Its main function is environment protection by training people and raising awareness. We also train the trekking guides. It was established in 1992. So we celebrated its silver jubilee last year. We have its office in Jyatha, Thamel. If one goes to Annapurna trekking, we keep information about it. There is a logue book, where tourists write down information about everything they come across like their experience and the expenditure they made on the route.

So KEEP mostly works in tourism sector?

-Yeah, we have our office in Thamel and most of us in KEEP are having the tourism entrepreneurship as our main business. So most of the charity works are involved with the tourism sector. Since our goal is environmental protection, the professionals in tourism sectors like trekking have a major role in this direction. If they are made aware regarding this, they could in turn be conscious in not littering around the clean atmosphere and inform others also to make the environment pollution free.

What are the other functions?

-We have the PCB facility at our avail. That means the Portal Clothing Bank). We provide them the required equipment and clothes at the most least rate. The least amount is only for the laundery requirement. Paragreen-the international trekking company had left some material for the cause, which we later distributed to the Chepangs in Chitwan. We also conduct first-aid training for tourism professionals regarding language; since it is the most important part to communicate with our guests. Most of the trainees are porters and guides.

We have also built a community school at Jogibar in Kabre, drinking water project at Dubche in Sindhupalchouk and Salang ghat of Dhading. We have also encouraged plus two level students to keep the environment clean. They have been involved in the cleanliness of the world heritage sites like Bhaktapur Square. We also do the wall painting.

Which community has KEEP worked with?

-In Chitwan we have started 3 projects. The first is to set up a health post. The second is the school and the third is the drinking water project. All these plans are to help the Chepang people with better educational facility and create awareness for hygiene and health. Also for the women folks we have organized skill development trainings like stiching, house keeping etc. The men are also trained for house keeping, as they lack educational qualification at the present juncture. Hotel Association of Nepal(HAN) office bearers are also planning to co-ordinate with TAAN and others to help the Chepang people to seek employment opportunities in Sauraha tourism areas.

What are other places you involved in ?

-Well, I am the central member at Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN). I am also a yoga instructor at Goniyore yoga centre in Basundhara and director at Heritage Home Hotel and Guest House.