Connect with us

City Lifestyle

This Shimla-based miniature gardening artist has taken initiative to impart creative skills to prisoners



miniature gardening workshop in shimla 1

She has limited slots for this workshop where the gardening enthusiasts of Shimla are invited for a meet-up over creative gardening, food & beverage, candid photography along with supporting a cause.

SHIMLA-In a city like Shimla, unplanned, haphazard, and even illegal construction has made it almost impractical to nurture a habit like gardening, which is indeed a saddening state. However, there is some possibility with miniature gardening. Shimla based Miniature Haven had recently introduced the capital city to the art of miniature gardening through its first workshop. The organizer, Shilpa (30). received a tremendous response, and has decided to hold another special workshop in Shimla.

This time, as an admirable initiative, inmates of the Kaithu Jail in Shimla will get a chance to contribute to the preparation of the workshop kits and will also learn creative gardening skills & techniques and other crafts. miniature haven workshop 3

The psychologists, doctors and occupational therapists have always debated the health benefits of building, planting, and harvesting a garden that brings constructive changes on emotional and behavioral level. Even the theme of this year’s World Environment Day was “Connecting to the Nature”. Shilpa has created this opportunity to re-establish this connection for both the prison inmates as well as residents of urbanized and highly congested city.

himachal prison

Shilpa with IPS Somesh Goel, Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, Himachal Pradesh

For this, Miniature Haven, her firm, is collaborating with Himachal Prisons under the guidance of IPS Somesh Goel, Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, Himachal Pradesh to impart creative skills to the friendly inmates of prisons. Shilpa will be training the inmates and even share part of the earning from the workshop with them for helping her in the preparation of the kits.

Under this project I will spend time with them demonstrating and teaching creative gardening techniques and other crafts like distress painting, decoupaging objects etc.,

Shilpa told Himachal Watcher.

The inmates will help me prepare kits for the workshop and will be paid wages out of the proceeds I generate from the workshop,

she further said.

This is an initiative to engage prisoners in creative art based activities along with giving them opportunity to start a dialogue with outer world in a way that is productive and constructive in manner. Another thought is to enable them to be able to earn a livelihood from handcrafting such products which can be commercially sold to the public.

I will document my interaction with the prisoners’ their daily stories, life behind a prison and feedback in the form of pictures and share it on my Facebook page Miniature Haven; some stories that remains behind the bars and are never really known to us in the free world,

said Shilpa.

Under her concept Miniature Haven she is looking at collaborating with many social service organisations that are working on the upliftment and empowerment of underprivileged sections of our society.

She is expecting the Shimla public to come forward and be a part of this event where a group of 15-20 strangers would come together for a meet-up over creative gardening, food & beverage, candid photography which supports a cause.

The cost of workshop (2000 INR) inclusive of material, food & beverage (prepared by prison inmates) and photography. The workshop is scheduled to be held on June 18, 2017 at the Shimla Book Café from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM. All details regarding the workshop can be found on the official website of Miniature Haven or the Facebook Page. Interested people should hurry for registration as there are limited slots.

View Gallery

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.


City Lifestyle

HPTDC’s Online Service for Ordering Food for Takeaway and Home Delivery Launched



HPTDC Online Food Order Service

Shimla-An online facility to place orders of food was launched by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation on July 21, 2020. It was informed by the HPTDC, Managing Director Kumud Singh. She said the Corporation has introduced a facility to place an online order of food for takeaway and home delivery at its selected properties.

“The public can place orders for a variety of tasty, hygienic and healthy cuisines at their homes by placing online orders,”

she said.

Consumers can place online food orders at these properties by visiting its website ( Currently, the orders can be placed from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The HPTDC staff has been imparted special training to take all necessary steps for prevention of COVID-19, she said. The food is prepared by trained Chefs of the Corporation in safe and hygiene environment, she added.

She informed that this service has initially been started at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, Goofa Ashiana Restaurant Shimla, Hotel Kunzam Manali, Cafe Monal Kullu, Cafe Raviview Chamba and Cafe Satluj Rampur. She said that this service will be extended to other properties in a phased manner.

Photo: Himachal Watcher

Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

Fursat Se- Shimla Based Cultural Community to Plant 550 Trees on 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji



Shimla-On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, Fursat Se, a cultural community based in Shimla plans to plant 550 trees. The founder of Fursat Se, Amrita Bhasin, is working towards creating safe spaces for promotion of art, literature and open dialogue through the medium of events.

“We invite 550 people (&more) to pledge and plant one tree each and help us initiate a Green Movement by the people and for the people,”

She said.

Anyone interested in this, can pick a local tree sapling and plant it in allowed areas of the neighborhood and pledge to take care of it, and send the information on the same with a picture and hashtag #TreeTalesIndia to Fursat Se. For pledging, volunteering and becoming a part of this initiative you can contact them, and Fursat Se will share the pictures from their social media handles.

The initiative is organized by Fursat Se- A Cultural Community in association with- Swach Himalayas, a Himachal based NGO started by Savitoj Singh, that works towards spreading awareness about various environmental issues, undertakes initiatives like regular visits to old-age homes, orphanages through numerous community driven events and Unbox Himachal valley- a Himachal based start-up by Shivee Sirmauri, working towards empowerment of rural women by providing employment opportunities and reviving old cultural handicrafts.

Fursat Se- 550 trees plantation

Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

Himachal’s fitness enthusiast shines at Indian TV Reality Show




Himachal's Fitness enthusiast sachin sharma of Shimla

Shimla: Sachin Sharma, a handsome man of 26, is currently a person who stands in contrast to Himachal Pradesh’s ill-famed youth struggling with drug and substance abuse – a crucial issue that has sounded an alarm in the State. Sachin is the one who joined a gym at the age of 19 – an age at which teenagers are struggling to escape from the jaws of drug/substance abuse, especially Heroin (Chitta).

Sachin, born in a middle-class family of Deha village, Theog, Shimla district, recently appeared in what could be called India’s first fitness reality show “Indian Fitness League.” It wasn’t a bodybuilding show, but the challenge was to undertake tasks designed to check who is the fittest. Sachin was the only one from Himachal to have made through the auditions. He was selected as one of the 40 fittest people of India. He earned the special attention of the hosts of the show as well as among other competitors.

The next episode of the TV show would be telecasted on October 6 on Discovery Sports at 4 PM.

To know more about him, Himachal Watcher interviewed him (Watch Video). We found that his story is inspirational in its own way:

Far from ill and unhealthy habits, he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink or take anything that would toy with his physical and mental fitness. He definitely doesn’t take steroids. Since last seven years, he has followed a strict discipline in diet and habits. He didn’t compromise with his studies either. He completed his schooling from Dayanand Public School in Shimla.

In 2018 he completed his post graduation in Masters of Business (MBA) from Himachal Pradesh University and had procured a placement for himself too.

He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth so placement did matter for him. His father Mohan Lal Sharma and mother Subhadra Sharma are both serving with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), HP, as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and Head Constable respectively. It wasn’t easy to manage an additional expenditure of Rs. 15,000 – 20, 000 on his protein diet for seven years.

At this point, his decision-making ability was put to test. He had to choose one of the two: job placement and passion for fitness. He listened to himself and decided to seek a career in the fitness industry.

Though Sachin’s body is in good shape, he isn’t actually a bodybuilder. He is a fitness enthusiast, who has trained without a professional trainer or a mentor. He made ample use of YouTube to learn. He didn’t take up fitness as his passion because he was inspired by someone. He was his own inspiration.

He first received an opportunity to get on a stage at annual Mr. Himachal competition. Later he won the Maruti Suzuki Devils Circuit held in Chandigarh.

Now, after his tremendous performance at the IFL, Sachin has received sponsorships and was inducted in the TG Athlete group. Opportunities in the fitness industry have begun to appear before him. He believes that someday, he would extend support and guidance to other fitness enthusiasts of the state, which he could hardly receive for himself.

He is an idol for the youth of Himachal, especially because fitness is an antonym to drug/substance abuse and indiscipline. In the majority of cases filed under the Narcotics, Drugs & Psychoactive Substances (ND&PS) Act, the accused are reported to be between 20-25 years. A couple of days back Shimla Police arrested a 22-years-old local boy with a packet of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stamps. 

Continue Reading