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Five Knowledge Verticals

VoW sessions are organised through its five Knowledge Verticals, which we see as spaces to differentiate the broad range of topics and interests that are a part of the Valley of Words festival. The past two years have had four knowledge verticals and we have expanded the categories to include Translations as the fifth vertical this year onwards.

The RS Tolia Forum

About Mr RS Tolia

Senior Indian Administrative Services officer Mr Raghunandan Singh Tolia was a Former Chief Secretary who served as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Uttarakhand Information Commission (UIC), Government of Uttarakhand between 2005 and 2010. He was appointed shortly after the Right to Information (RTI Act) was implemented and his contribution to UIC has been invaluable.

He was also a Member of the Advisory Board at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and joined Doon University as NTPC chair professor at its Centre for Policy Planning. He was also a member of the Planning Commission as well as a member of the search committee for appointment of Lokayukta in the state.

Amongst his myriad of achievements, Mr Tolia was an inspirational leader and mentor to a generation of bureaucrats, forest officers, civil society and RTI activists who have served mountain communities passionately and with understanding.

Mr Tolia belonged to the Bhotia community in Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand and deeply understood the links among people, cultures, livelihoods and mountain environment. He had the vision for a pan-India movement to unify the diverse mountain states in our country and conceptualized the idea of the Integrated Mountain Initiative. He got like-minded individuals together and with his vision, care and leadership changed lives of mountain communities.


The RST Forum

The Forum seeks to commemorate his memory by offering a platform for individuals with a passion for change and understanding about mountain issues to come together and discuss the direction and issues of development in the mountains.

The RST forum is organisation with efforts from the Sustainable Development Foundation Uttaranchal (SDFT), Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and Shivalik Hills Foundation Trust. Tata Trusts, Himmothan, UNDP and ICIMOD have supported the Craft Exhibition.

The Forum takes up issues relating to Livelihood, Development Interventions, Arts and Crafts of Himalayas, Migration, Ecology, Environment and Access to Food, Work and Information in the Himalayas.

Military History and Strategy

The Military is a powerful wing of the government and this forum is an effort to bring forth the history of past military struggles and the challenges, perspectives and strategies behind military involvement and decisions to the public and civilians.

We bring together leaders, diplomats, strategists, academicians and military history aficionados as well as serving and retired officers of defence and police forces to discuss issues related to war and peace, security and India’s engagement with her neighbours.

Past VoW sessions have discussed India’s Wars since Independence, Indo-Sino relations, India’s Maritime strategy amongst others.

Fiction: English and Hindi

Fiction is the art of storytelling and narration through imagination and creative writing but is often also based on real life experiences and learnings. This Knowledge vertical of VoW focus on Fiction writing in English and Hindi, and includes poetry as well as prose.

VoW ’18 has seen Book Launches of fictional works, discussions and conversations about books with the authors themselves as well as poetry readings.

Non-Fiction: English and Hindi

Nonfiction is writing that is more informative and factual than imaginative. This vertical of VoW represents nonfiction writing by authors in the languages English and Hindi.

Book launches, conversations and meaningful discussions with opinion and thought leaders from different points of views are all part of this vertical.

Translated works

This knowledge vertical represents works that have been translated, from regional languages and Hindi into English as well as works that have been translated from English to regional languages.

With many more translation works being published, VoW has added this new vertical for its 2019 festival. Both fiction as well as non-fiction works are included in this vertical.