Here’s a rough translation!
India is emerging rural tourism intelligent. An NGO has launched in recent years forms of tours for middle and upper classes of the cities that will live in for a weekend in the middle of a remote village and the poor.A meeting between two worlds that allows villagers out of poverty through income of tourism. And thus slow the relentless migration to already overcrowded cities.
Report in a small village near Bombay, by our correspondent Sebastian Farcis.
Gulab turns a heavy round stone, which rubs against the ground,and crushes the rice into flour. It is this meal, which will be used to cook the roti pancakes for the whole village, and guests.
Saifiz, a filmmaker from Bombay, is amazed by the simplicity of this process
“They do not have much, but one thing is certain: their diet is much healthier than ours in town!”
This group of 10 Indian and foreign tourist’s drove 6 hours from Mumbai to reach this small village of Purushwadi, which has 100 families, perched at 1000 meters.
There, for two days, they eat, sleep with the villagers, and learn to pound rice or sawing wood.
A form of intelligent tourism, launched 2 years ago by Grassroutes.
Nickolai is the guide.
“We noticed that people from the city don’t generally know how people live in the surrounding countryside or villages. All we know is that life is hard.
We want to create a bridge between the two worlds. For this, we train the villagers to receive guests and guide them to places of interest. And the final objective is that we market it and they can accommodate tourists on their own.”
Each tourist pays the equivalent of 30 euros for the weekend, including one third goes directly to the villagers.
Sangita lives in a mud house with her family.For 2 years, she cooks about 20 meals a month for the tourists, which allowed her to double the income of the household.
“I get about 15 euros per month. I save half, and the rest, I can buy food that is not found in the village, and especially medicines for children. Before, every three months, when the harvest was over, many men went into town to earn money, until the next harvest. This created family problems. Now it’s much more rare. & if they leave, it is only for 3 days.”
70% of India’s population lives in villages like Purushwadi. But big cities, booming economy, attracts thousands each day who come and start crowding in its slums.
After the success of the tourism model, Grassroutes will launch excursions to 5 other villages by next year.