Social Impact Sprint in Tehri

Sheneille Patil
4 min readNov 27, 2021

My takeaways from Tech4Dev Conference, where I shared space with folks working towards Social Impact using technology in Tehri, Uttarakhand :)

View from the ColoredCow Office

Co-working with like-minded people

One of the hardest things for an extrovert like me during the pandemic was working in isolation. Tehri reminded me of what seems like a million years ago when I had the luxury of working around people. Like meeting a dear friend after a gap. A seemingly abnormal normalcy in today’s times. Right away I felt at home.

A snap of all of us on our trek to the top of the hill :)

I learned a lot!

Learning about problems and, more importantly solutions to said problems that folks from various organisations were working on, I was fascinated and inspired by the depth of knowledge that had gathered there.

Sessions were in the form of TechTalks and DeepDives. In TechTalks, folks from their respective organisation talked about the project they are working on and in DeepDives individuals would conduct learning sessions around a topic that’s useful for many like PWA and its challenges.

Simon from Aam Digital talked about PWA, its implementations and challenges

As a designer, learning about the application of development concepts I had only read about has only served to pique my interest further. With folks with years of experience talking about how they inculcated an OSS model, something we at Ooloi have long wanted to do, provided me with insight on how we can approach this.

Being surrounded by nature

The natural beauty, New Tehri, is located amidst the backdrop of the snow-covered mountains with the lake at the centre. It seemed like a perfect destination for a sprint like this.

The conference was a fine balance of work and play. Working from ColoredCow’s beautiful offices situated up the hill from our EcoHuts on the lake was lovely.

Jogging track next to the lake (left) and Eco Hut (right)

Being a morning person, starting my days off with a brisk stroll and running around the lake, I couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous start to my day. We even managed a group meditation one morning!

Not only were we working hard during the day, due to the well-structured plan set up by Tech4Dev, but I also had the opportunity of seeing beautiful snow-capped mountains on a trek dotted with pine and cherry blossom trees.

Cherry Blossom Trees (left) and Monkeys on Pine Trees (right) spotted during our trek to the cafe

The work culture at ColoredCow

From day one of us arriving at Tehri to the day we left, we were taken care of by the ColoredCow Team. Prateek Narang (Founder of ColoredCow) has managed to build an environment where people like coming to work.

ColoredCow Office has a library where people can borrow books, Muji stationery (for people like me :)), craft papers, musical instruments, dartboard and many more things to play around with. They also keep cycles and kick scooters to get some physical activity going!

ColoredCow’s Library with Neon Logo

Tech4Dev Conference in Tehri promised and delivered not just on the beautiful landscape but also of interacting with like-minded individuals whom I hope to stay in touch with and the learnings which I will surely share with my team.