Remembering Keith Virgo

Posted in News on Friday, January 15th, 2021

You will always remain in our hearts!

Manisha Pande, MD of Village Ways, pays tribute to Keith Virgo. Keith very sadly passed away in January 2021, and Manisha speaks on behalf of us all at Village Ways.

There are some people who never ‘leave’, as they remain in our hearts and thoughts and continue to inspire us throughout our lives and Keith is one of them. He will always be remembered for his positivity, his cheerfulness, his sense of humour, his warm smiles and for his very interesting stories from the ‘special collection’ of his travels in different parts of the world.

It was a fortunate chance that Keith and Himanshu met at Binsar in Uttarakhand back in the late 90s and together sow the seeds for the unique concept of Village Tourism and Village Ways! Right from 2004, Keith was involved closely with the team to set up the Village Tourism Enterprises in the villages. His extensive experience of and expertise in working in rural areas was immensely valuable not just in the setting up stage of Village Ways but in every aspect thereafter be it trainings, community mobilization, networking to name a very few!

Keith was a store of knowledge about different subjects and so meticulous and diligent. We all learnt hugely from his promptness and his attentiveness. He was always the first one to reply to an email and the first one to answer a question on the name of a tree or a plant or a flower and would always remember your name if he has met you before! He had that special way to connect with everyone; of different age groups and backgrounds. He will be much missed by all in our partner communities.

It will not be easy for us to learn not to have Keith around us to take his advice or just to have an open-hearted conversation, but I would always like to remember Keith with a smile and not tears, because he has taught us to be patient and remain positive. We all will miss you Keith!

Manisha

Thanks to Jim Turpy for the image of Keith with Manisha and Dinesh.

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