Sustainable Tourism: Working on travel inspired empowerment
'Travel' is a beautiful concept. It takes you to new places, gives you new experiences, introduces you to new communities and different traditions of the world.
However, to think about it, travel can be used well enough to impact not just one person but also a whole community. All you need to do is an intention.
For Eg. You travel to a third world country. The geography is breath taking and the people are kind hearted. You visit a village and learn about their incredible lifestyle and their simple struggles of life which could be the most basic to you.
You may have the thought of 'lending a hand or a helping in any form' that could be feasible.
But then you realize you do not have the means to do this as you do not know have the right ground support for it.
Here is where we want to come. We want to become the medium between local problems and solutions. Our services are of course for business use but we can always extends these services for noble initiatives.
Geejgarh Village: A case study
We got in touch with one of our travel partners based in France regarding this program.
We told them about our initiative and they were as enthusiastic as us about pulling this off.
An agreement was signed between the two companies wherein a development fund would be assigned to support a school. Both companies would be contributing to the fund depending on the volume of travel in the region.
Research work was conducted in choosing the right school which was in a dire need of support
We had clients going to a retreat in Geejgarh and that is how we were made aware about the school near to it.
About The City
Geejgarh would not be a much heard of name outside of Rajasthan.
It is a small village located in the Dausa district which is located about 84 Kms away from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the most important city in terms for the tourism and the textile industry in the state.
The place has a fort known as Geejgarh Fort which is approachable, even today, by foot. The place comes with its own history. The region was founded in 1774, when Thakur Shyam Singh of Pokhran defeated the Chauhan Rajputs of Geejgarh in battle, and established his authority there.
If today you Google about this place, not much would be shown about this place apart from one of our patron properties, Geejgarh Village Retreat.
(*At the time of clicking pictures, summer vacations were in progress. Pictures have been clicked as a part of a surprise inspection)
The village has a primary government school which is a 5 minute walk from the Retreat.
The school board reads the following when translated to English: "The State Model Higher Secondary School" . They teach all primary subjects from Grade 1 to Grade 5 students.
It also houses a play school area for infant kids.
After a reccee, the following essentials were enlisted to provide for the school children with a major focus on hygiene:
Clean Drinking Water with Cooler
Toilets each for Girls & Boys
Blackboard for outside class activities
New Desks for each classroom
Further to this, material required was procured from Delhi and contractors were hired that belonged to the village with the objective to provide employment to local people.
The results were extremely appreciable with the supervisor telling us there has been an increase in attendance. There are about 100 students attending the school now.
The government has also introduced mid - day meals which has made the result even sweeter. We have been told that this is the only public place in the area with access to cold drinking water, a much needed necessity under such soaring temperatures .
There are now plans to introduce high quality sports equipment sourced from the joint fund.
Our travel partner in France has to be given equal credit for this initiative. There are a few companies that take this road and it has to be really respected and appreciated.
Special thanks to Geejgarh Village Retreat for all their help in terms of execution and supervision.
Tourism industry is huge, in fact one of the biggest in the world. It is also one of the fastest growing with people traveling to even more places. This cannot always be a good thing with problems like increase in carbon emissions, commercialization of interesting spots, over crowding, destruction of natural habitat, inconvenience to local population, etc.
However, all of this can be used to make a positive impact. For eg. Ticket sales help in maintenance of heritage and natural areas, provide employment to a huge number of people, bringing attention to issues that could have been lost otherwise, culture exchange and the bottom line is it helps us personally in more ways than one by keeping our mental/physical being intact.
Initiatives like above are much needed and Razdan Holidays would like to play an important role in achieving such results through responsible tourism. We would also like the privileged of the world to support the under-privileged. It can be seen how a foreign entity, a domestic entity and a local entity came together with one idea of how lives can be positively impacted through the sphere of tourism.