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Shagun Singh, leading the Geeli Mitti Foundation, catalyzing social and environmental change

Nainital (News Trust of India) : In the realm of sustainable ventures, Shagun Singh stands as a beacon of change. At 36, she’s not simply a former marketing professional; she’s an environmentalist on a mission. Leading the charge is the Geeli Mitti Foundation, a social enterprise dedicated to pumping life back into 11 plots of farmland, each spanning three to five acres. But that’s not all. Shagun is also pioneering the construction of mud houses using the earth-bag technology.

Pause for a moment amidst any construction site, and what do you see? Cement bags stacked high, bricks forming a wall of homogeneity. Yet, few question the sustainability of these materials, their incapacity to return to the planet once utilized. Despite this, the building industry clings to tradition.

Enter Shagun Singh, disruptor extraordinaire. With the Geeli Mitti Foundation, she’s flipping the script, ushering in a new era of eco-conscious living. Nestled in the hilly expanse of Mahrora Village, Pangot, (roughly 25 km from Uttarakhand’s Nainital), her mud-built cottages embody sustainable living. Mud, cow manure, lime – these are the components of her revolution.

In an honest exchange with She The People, Shagun uncovers the potential of mud, its intrinsic ability to regulate temperature. “Mud has thermal power,” she notes, “the kind that endures.” Yet, its value remains underestimated.

But it’s not just about housing. The Geeli Mitti Farms are a tribute to holistic life. Recycling waste, applying creative construction techniques – Shagun does it all. Take the earth-bag technique, for instance. Ideal for seismic locations, its durability was strikingly shown during the Nepal earthquake.

Yet, Shagun’s vision exceeds pragmatism. She envisions dwellings endowed with spiritual energies, settings that echo with life. Unlike their cement counterparts, mud walls breathe, promoting a symbiotic relationship with nature.

But Shagun’s activity extends beyond construction. Through permaculture farming and specialized techniques, she’s regenerating rural livelihoods. With a determined crew by her side, she’s transforming 11 farms, one plot at a time.

Rainwater collection, biodiversity conservation – these are not simply phrases for Shagun; they’re pillars of her beliefs. The countryside teems with newfound vitality, as farmers embrace different crops and sustainable approaches.

As for the future? Shagun dreams of ponds full with rainfall, sustaining local fish and communities alike. It’s not simply a vision; it’s a blueprint for a better tomorrow. And with Shagun Singh at the lead, the future appears brighter than ever.