Baato (n. [Nepali] 1. path, trail 2. way 3. road) is an observational film that tells the story of a young village family on an annual migration along the route of a coming trans-national highway. Partially complete, the highway project will transform this roadless Himalayan valley permanently and open up a direct transport route between Nepal and China – bringing new challenges, new opportunities, and ultimately a new way of being to those who live along its path.
The family travels first on foot and eventually by bus carrying medicinal herbs that they sell in the cities of the southern plains. As they journey south a road construction crew is at work laying a track deep in the Himalaya. A document of a time and place emerges – one that details life in the Himalayas before a new highway forever transforms this mountain landscape.
The documentary is a visual feast that glimpses the effects of development and globalization from the perspective of those affected most directly – it is a journey through the heart of a changing Nepal.
These organizations are actively working for positive change in the area:
KTK-BELT’s mission is to catalyze new models of biodiversity conservation and environmental learning in eastern Nepal. It works with teachers, farmers, youth, and women to create a ‘Vertical University’ that will span from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Sanctuary (67 m.) to Kanchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third tallest peak in the world. The idea is to give a framework to local farmers to become ‘professors’ of the Vertical University, to share their indigenous knowledge while also physically conserving threatened species and landscapes.
Karma & Jyamu Bhotia Foundation
The Karma & Jyamu Bhotia Foundation was founded to fund and implement programs in the Bhot-Khola to develop education, promote health awareness, improve living conditions, foster economic opportunities and promote cross-cultural awareness for all residents of the Bhot-Khola.