Askot-Aarakot Abhiyan (AAA) is a research trip being organised by PAHAR,once in a decade. This abhiyan (movement) started in the year 1974. Sekhar Pathak,who is a founder member of PAHAR and only person to be part of all the AAA since 1974,recalls his days in 1974.
When the talks of Askot Aarakot Abhiyaan was started in January 1974 then we were not very sure about it.We had travelled only to Pindari and Gangotri before that. No one among us was mountaineer or even NCC cadet but that journey (Askot to Aarakot-1974) has changed all of us. In our first such long journey we realised that how less information about real pahar and its village is known to us and our universities but we never realised then, that Askot-Aarakot-Abhiyan would become a once in a decade research expedition.
The history of the ‘Askot Arakot Abhiyan’ can be traced back to 1974, when social workers and students of the HNB Garhwal University undertook the research trip for the first time. It was followed by PAHAR organising the same expedition in 1984 and 1994. So the ‘Abhiyan’ for understanding the dynamics of Himalayan society and environment has now become a routine, once in a decade, affair. In the year 2004, many research students, journalists and writers from various parts of India and other parts of the world participated in this expedition. Many NGOs have also extended help for the ‘Askot Arakot Abhiyan’,including the ‘Dasoli Gram Swaraj Mandal’, Hesco, Harc, ‘Dalyo Ka Dagdya’, ‘Pragtisheel Mahila Manch’ and ‘Uttarakhand Jan Jagrati Sansthan’.