Durable quality depends on sustainable development. To reverse the soil erosion on the steep slopes of Darjeeling, trees must be replanted in strategic locations. In 1992, Teekampagne initiated a project to improve the area’s natural environment, "Save the Environment and Regenerate Vital Employment" (S.E.R.V.E.).
Funded solely by the Teekampagne, the project is implemented by WWF-India. Our cooperation with the WWF, as well as our financial support for S.E.R.V.E., is intended as a long-term commitment.
S.E.R.V.E. is also dedicated to improving the socio-economic conditions of the inhabitants of Darjeeling Hill. It has carved a niche among the conservation-oriented non-governmental organizations of the region, and much has been accomplished: So far, an area of 210 hectares has been reforested, 22 tree nurseries have been established and in the course of time over 3 millions saplings have been planted.
Our model village, Tinchulay, is an example of how ecological awareness and entrepreneurship can work together. Its ecological projects (such as establishing tree nurseries and producing bio-fertilizer) have flourished and it has established a successful business in ecotourism.
Environmental education and awareness programs are bearing fruit. 13 schools are working closely with our WWF project; their activities include nature treks, bird watching, and various exhibitions and workshops. Research activities range from the recycling of plastics to the conservation of endangered bird species. Workshops on medicinal plants teach the local population how to use these natural resources.
Collecting rainwater enables a small water power plant to produce energy for 10 households in a remote area of Darjeeling.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a fascinating piece of engineering and a major tourist attraction, stops at Batasia Loop, where S.E.R.V.E. has laid out an eco garden which provides information about organic farming and the regional flora.
In the near future, 300 hectares of land will be reforested in Senchal, the area which provides the town of Darjeeling with water.
Teekampagne is a proven catalyst and initiator of sustained development in the region of Darjeeling. The amazing results of this project have encouraged officials in Darjeeling to collaborate with S.E.R.V.E. on further projects.