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Community Development Centre at Mystic Village
Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India
image: Sayan Nath | © all rights reserved
Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India
work & business
design development
3 January 2023
The project aims to create a Community Development Centre, a place of cultural exchange, learning, and contribution between travellers & locals, where the underprivileged community members will have a platform to showcase their craft, preserve and promote their culture and safeguard their traditions. The project will provide for youths & women to get trained in skills and empower themselves socio-economically, through a multipurpose community space.
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Mystic Village in Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh is economically dependent on agriculture and tourism. It is nature’s best-kept secret located in the remote interiors and surrounded by magnificent Himalayan ranges. In spite of its beautiful location, the community faces the following challenges:
  1. Distress-driven youth migration
  2. Lack of livelihood opportunities
  3. Loss of age-old heritage and customs due to documentation
  4. Income from agriculture lost during harsh weather
  5. Loss of traditional architecture due to modern construction
To cater to these issues, Mystic Village was created as a community-based tourism destination in 2016. It capitalises on the rural tourism sector to generate alternative livelihood income. However, they lack a collective multipurpose space that the village members can utilise for the efficient management of their community development initiatives. This Community Development Centre will include the following:
  1. Hall of Innovation: an exciting space for exploration & exchange through engagement between travellers and locals
  2. Community Kitchen: Farm-to-table experience traditionally prepared by the women of Gaddi tribes
  3. Community Library: 2-way learning lab for travellers and village locals
  4. Arts & Crafts Zone: a workspace for locals to showcase their indigenous products
This will help in providing systematic training to the community members, especially the youth and women to empower them socio-economically.
The project is designed to create impact on 3 important fronts:
  1. Socio-cultural
  2. Economic
  3. Environment 
The Community Development Centre will be built in such a way that it will help in eradicating the socio-economic challenges faced by Mystic Village. As a result, the centre has been designed with 4 key areas - Hall of Innovation, Community Kitchen, Community Library, Arts & Crafts Zone. The impacts evaluated are:
  1. Economic empowerment of Locals- 200+ community members, not only just from Mystic Village but also surrounding villages, will be economically benefited through this initiative
  2. Holistic Community Development- The centre aims to create an ecosystem that boosts the economy, culture and personal development of the locals.
  3. Capacity Building of Locals- 100+ youths & women will get their skills valued and developed through various skill development workshops.
  4. Active Participatory Approach- A sense of community, responsibility and ownership to build the village in a conscious and sustainable manner.
  5. Creation of Social Enterprise- Creating a sustainable ecosystem by using communities’ local assets i.e human resources- local people, land resources- community-owned local space, building resources- locally available materials, traditional local knowledge.
Core team
NotOnMap - an award-winning startup working to promote community-based responsible tourism in India. A socially-driven initiative for generating alternative livelihood & minimising unskilled migration from traditional villages,  It began with an aim to create a bridge between travellers looking for authentic cultural exploration and villagers who can provide the same but do not have the right kind of knowledge and exposure. 
  1. Kumar Anubhav- Founder of NotOnMap
  2. Abhimanyu Sehrawat- Operations Head
  3. Akshata Damle- Architect
Gaabdika- The self-help group of Gaddi tribes of Mystic Village, the primary stakeholders who are running the community village.
Image gallery
Remoteness of the Mystic Village

image: Sayan Nath | © all rights reserved
Semi open makeshift sit out

image: Sayan Nath | © all rights reserved
Travellers experience

image: Amit Vakil | © all rights reserved
Tiny defunct space being used as library, which gets difficult to use

image: Ar. Akshata Damle | © all rights reserved
Makeshift common space used as a multipurpose common area to be used for the locals

image: Ar. Akshata Damle | © all rights reserved
Potential usable space for multipurpose activities

image: Ar. Akshata Damle | © all rights reserved
Gaabdika SHG- community members of Mystic Village

image: Sayan Nath | © all rights reserved
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Where are we now
The project is envisaged to be done in phases where major human resources are in place. Identification of community members, and creation of SHG- Gaabdika have been made and the place is open to travellers now. The next phase is where financial aspects must be catered to in order to start implementation of the Centre urgently. 
An indication of our team’s capacity:
20% funding already raised
20% expertise already found
5% materials / equipment already found
70% builders already found
Finance: € 60,000
The Centre will have a substantial direct impact on the lives of the people in Mystic village and around 10 villages of the region, by enhancing livelihood, and preserving and promoting their culture. It can potentially indirectly impact the entire state in a span of 4-5 years. The idea is to create a replicable model in other areas and becomes a role model for the villages across India.
  • Hard intervention (Building the Centre)
  • Soft intervention (Program development, training)
Skills: Technique, PR & Marketing, Design
Design guidance and technical expertise will be essential to create the Centre sustainably with the existing traditional knowledge indigenous to the region. PR & Marketing for the Centre to bridge the gap between producers and consumers, to add to the livelihood generation of the local community.
Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
Essential materials and/or products that are not locally available in the region will be needed: 
  1. Interior furniture
  2. Electricals
  3. Kitchen equipment, appliances and cutlery
  4. Doors and windows
  5. Plumbing and sanitary appliances
Volunteers who can add to the creation of the Centre with their expertise in vernacular building techniques, and building with mud, stone, wood; content creators, and sustainable living enthusiasts.
The volunteers will gain hands-on experience working in a rural picturesque location and learn the traditional way of life, enhancing their skills and traditional knowledge. The community members will have more hands to bring their dream into reality.
Help bring our project to life!
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