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Ishita Khanna is the co-founder of Eco-sphere, a social enterprise that strives to bring together conservation, mountain travel and adventure.
Eco-sphere focuses on creating sustainable livelihoods in the Spiti Valley, a breathtakingly beautiful geo-climatic cold desert in Himachal Pradesh with a population of just over 10000. The company has won several accolades both in India and internationally such as the Green Energy and Green Livelihoods Achievement Award, from the Sierra Club in 2009 and the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award 2010 for Best in a mountain environment.
The rugged terrain of Spiti makes for a demanding work environment. But despite the geographical isolation and poor communication infrastructure, Ishita Khanna has managed to persist in her endeavour to develop the local economy by linking it to environmental and cultural conservation. Promoting eco-travel, organic products as well as traditional handicrafts made by local artisans, Ishita has carved a niche for Eco-sphere and has also captured the hearts of the inhabitants of Spiti.
Ishita Khanna was voted as the MTV Youth Icon in 2008 and was also awarded the Real Heroes Award by CNN-IBN.
Why we find her inspiring:
– For having the vision and commitment to pursue a calling that few Indian women would choose
– For working with passion for the environment and love for the mountains
– For bringing innovation to the areas of eco-travel and sustainable living
– For being a source of hope to the simple people of Spiti
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