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Children of the Chinar, Season 2: Special series on young achievers of Kashmir, 'the eco village'

This is the third story in this new season of celebrating talented people making news in Kashmir. For a region once plagued with terrorism, Kashmir is now brimming with entrepreneurship. This story is about a destination eco village at the once-upon-a-time terrorist-infested Ganderbal.

Products from the Sagg Eco Village - showcasing the micro-entrepreneurship possibilities of Kashmir.

This story is about a young local from Kashmir who started the initiative of a unique eco-friendly and recreational destination in Kashmir. With sustainable living at its core, Sagg EcoVillage is the only eco-village in the region with mud houses, organic farms, educational camps and amenities for sustainable tourism.

Sagg Eco Village is Jammu and Kashmir’s first ever eco-village. Along with the preservation and development of Kashmir's cultural and traditional legacy, Sagg Eco Village emphasizes the significance of sustainable living. It aims to promote integrative and regenerative lifestyles.

This unique and distinctive place was built by local youth from the Ganderbal district of central Kashmir. Fayyaz Ahmed founded Sagg Eco Village', which is located in the Watlar Wunder region in Kashmir. The village is situated in the Sindh River's foothills.

Ahmed says that his goal is to guide individuals, particularly the young, to realize their actual potential and make better life decisions. This endeavor goes beyond simply creating a sustainable entertainment destination. He claimed that it took him more than three years to accomplish this task, during which time he raised an initial investment of roughly Rs 60 lakh [$725,000] from friends and relatives as well as from his personal funds. He was able to build this village, which captures the real spirit of Kashmiri culture and heritage, using the money he raised. Ahmed says Sagg Eco Village is a farm and camping area with an emphasis on ecology, recreation, and education.

The eco-village, which spans 1.5 acres, has lovely mud homes for residents to live in, and visitors can enjoy a traditional savory feast made with food grown on an organic farm right there in the village. Here, ancient and unique items that depict the way of life in Kashmir's magnificent past are preserved, and the entire system is run using traditional techniques.

The food is served in earthen pots to fit with the theme. Even the furniture which is used here was created by local artisans using wood from the local area, as were all the resources used to construct this village. The Sagg Eco Village fully adheres to the zero waste concept principle as well.

Apart from recreational stays, Sagg Eco Village provides and promotes leisure educational and lifestyle services facilities. It conducts eco-therapy sessions, connecting humans to nature by encouraging people to spend a day in nature.

It also conducts day conferences and overnight facilitation conferences for youth, teachers, students, parents and professionals where various topics like problem solving, communication, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, needs of children, parenting, teaching, ecology, natural farming and sustainable development are discussed. There are various camps, such as eco-educational camps, where there are programs for improving capacity and life skills.

Sagg Eco Village also provides individuals with art therapy, career planning, coaching classes, counseling, workshops and seminars. Special Kashmiri barbeque parties are also organized. It encourages camping, day walks and treks as well. Further, concepts and examples of sustainable living are also present like - ecologically sound construction and space design, organic composting, recycling, and natural farming.

Sagg Eco Village sells a variety of natural products such as Kashmiri ghee, saffron, pickles, dried walnuts, and dried apples. It also manufactures a variety of lifestyle products such as grass baskets, mud pots, natural soaps, and other items.

Sagg Eco Village hosted the first 'Kashmir festival'. The festival had panel discussions, talks by individual speakers who have had success as business owners, and workshops by these speakers to encourage other eco-entrepreneurs and collaboration.

The visitors and tourists who have been here in this village believe that it's a must visit as the peace and moments spent here are memorable.

All $ = USD

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