Nestled in the lap of greenery in Mundigada village, Tumudibandh block, Sathi Ghara is the place to be if you are looking for a getaway. Far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this four-acre land houses a huge dormitory, nine guest rooms, a conference hall and a library with an abundance of books. This is how Pramod Pattnaik envisioned the place to be and that's how it turned out.
A woman at work in Kandhamal | (Pic: Jitu Mishra)
For the society
Though for many years, Pattnaik has been housing guests at Sathi Ghara, he will formally launch the place on January 26, 2020. It is to be noted that Pattnaik is a well-known figure. The Founder of Seva Bharati, an NGO he started in January 1984 which works for health and education of the tribals, Pattnaik has been working in the field for social service for a long time. The 59-year-old even pursued his Masters in Social Work from Jodhpur and has worked in the rural development sector for a long time. He came back to Odisha to give back to his own state and that's when he started the NGO. They started a college, Netaji Subhas Bose College, and a high school, which are now run by the government. He also ensures that their medical units reach people staying in remote areas as well and give free medicines to them.
A hut in Kandhamal | (Pic: Jitu Mishra)
Seva Bharati has encouraged folk dancers of different kinds to participate in national-level festivals. They even have a youth club and through several activities, encourage youngsters in sports. They also organise district-level sports tournaments like volleyball and so on.
A woman in Kandhamal | (Pic: Jitu Mishra)
Stay with them
So, in between all this, how did Pattnaik think of Sathi Ghara? "Jitu Mishra (founder of Virasat -E-Hind Foundation, a blog that is about all things Odia) visited me in February 2018 and encouraged me to do something in the field of rural tourism. As we were already offering lodgings, I saw some scope," says Pattnaik, who has been to COP 15 in Copenhagen. It was back then that he thought that others should know about our rich and varied tribal culture. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the seeds of Sathi Ghara, which is situated on the banks of River Raul were sown back then itself.
A tribal man | (Pic: Jitu Mishra)
And as Kandhamal is known for greenery, he thought it will click with people. Hence, they upgraded their facilities with geysers, colouring and other repair work and are now ready to attract more guests. This doesn’t mean there are any TVs in the room, though there is one in the common area. Think of your stay here as a digital detox. The Additional Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, has already visited their space and appreciated their efforts, we are told.
For more on them, click on facebook.com/SathiGharaYourMountainHome