By Jenny Richards:
Eco travelling involves visiting natural areas that are relatively less known and undisturbed. These destinations are less visited and hence cheaper to the more well-established and treaded destinations. The purpose of eco-tourism is to support local people and fulfil the causes of ecological conservation. Green tourism, also termed eco tourism, is a low-impacting mode of travel where funds generated are used for development of local people, protecting local environment, and maintaining ecological balance. Tadoba Tiger Resort in Tadoba National Park, Chandrapur, Maharashtra offers a unique eco travel experience.
Like a typical eco-tourism destination, Tadoba is perfectly prepared to promote totally environment friendly surroundings and an unspoilt greenery all round. It is the effort of this resort in association with government bodies to reduce carbon footprint to a minimum, if not ‘nil’. There are several characteristics that make a natural surrounding fit for green travel.
Travelling to natural destinations – Green travel normally implies visiting places of natural beauty such as forests, reserves, biospheres, villages, and water bodies. The influence of modern day lifestyles is either absent or marginal.
Creation of environmental awareness – An essential element of eco-tourism is making people aware about the benefits of keeping a surrounding totally pollution free. No amount of garbage should be littered or piled. Use of environment hostile materials like plastic and polymer must be avoided. A thorough awareness of local flora and fauna is essential for growing this awareness. Under no circumstances should plant or animal life be harmed in any manner.
Respect for local culture – Local inhabitants need to be heeded and their customs respected. For instance, playing of loud music or creating commotion is strictly forbidden in a national park or reserve forest. This severely damages the peace of the forest and adversely affects animal life.
Minimize impact – In a natural setting there is perfect harmony among man, beast, and plants. Imbalance of any sort or extent is likely to spoil this harmony. Tourists should take sufficient responsibility of minimizing their impact on local life and customs. Reserve forests and national parks have their set of rules which should be followed in totality. Any attempt of disturbing harmony or impacting local lifestyles is unwarranted.
Provision of financial benefits for local inhabitants – Ecotourism always aims towards providing financial benefits for local inhabitants. Revenue generated from tourism activities in these regions should ideally benefit local economy. Food should be locally procured for supporting local cultivators and farmers. The dependence should be more on products available locally and lesser on those that need to be brought from distant places or cities.
Empowering local inhabitants – This is a continuation of the previous feature. Greater economic autonomy to local people in form of income generating opportunities results in their empowerment. Greater economic freedom gives local inhabitants to create their avenues of income generation. Promoting local primary activities like cultivating, poultry farming, animal husbandry, and fishing contribute positively towards greater income potential.
Supporting local customs and human rights – Human rights and local customs go hand in hand for small places. Here people know each other well, and an entire village is like an extended family. Green travel does not disturb this equilibrium between individuals and instead promotes social harmony.
Provision for conservation – This is perhaps the most vital feature of eco travel. Conservation of local resources, animal life, vegetation, and human settlements is an essential condition of green travel. Forestation, prevention of erosion, preserving all life forms, and right of survival for one and all are the basic pre-conditions of life in these eco-friendly surroundings. Tadoba Tiger Resort is an endeavour towards this direction.
About the author – Jenny Richards is an environment specialist who loves travelling to off-beat locations. Tadoba Tiger Resort in Chandrapur, Maharashtra is one such place which has taken her fancy. Jenny loves to come to this place of unspoilt beauty regularly.