For the world community, men and animals both, the first requirement is assured food grains. But, it has been experienced and proved DURING COVID 19 that these people are the last priority of all the Governments in all the countries. Our farmers have been producing the food grains for the world in loss since their life and faced all odds of nature as well as of Governments.
I belongs to a pure village of farmers and know their pains. Whole family of minimum 4 to 5 persons works in fields whole the year and they work under all odds of climate, weather and difficulties. And if consider per person per day Rs 300 minimum ( in this labour is not available at all), then per family investment is Rs 1500 per day as its capital and annual investment comes to about Rs 5,47,500=00 in addition, you have many input costs as well like ploughing, seeds, irrigation, pesticides/insecticides, harvesting, and others . If these all are added then no farmers on the earth is in profit and all had been doing the business in loss. But these all are paid and charged in commercial business and then cost and selling price is worked out.
THIS IS HUMBLE REQUEST TO WORLD AND ALL THE GOVERNMENTS TO HONOUR OUR FARMERS, LABOURERS AND WORKERS TO ASSURE FOOD GRAINS PRODUCTION FOR THE WORLD.
Sikkim- A Heaven For Rural/Village Tourism and Home Stay
Tourism growth potential can be harnessed as a strategy for the Rural Development. The development of a strong platform around the concept of Rural Tourism is definitely useful for a country like India especially for all the hilly States of Country like Sikkim. The stresses of urban lifestyles have led to a “Counter Urbanization” syndrome. This has led to growing interest in the rural areas. At the same time the urbanization has led to falling income levels, lesser job opportunities in the rural areas leading to desertification of villages. Rural Tourism is one of the few activities if integrated with Rural Development, can provide a solution to most of these problems.
Besides, there are other factors which are shifting the trend towards rural tourism like increasing levels of overall awareness of development, growing interest in heritage and culture, improve connectivity and accessibility and environmental awareness/ consciousness.
Village tourism has emerged as a very new concept in the tourism industry. The new concept of village tourism where the guests – YOU would be taken to the carefully picked up village, where you would be given the chances to know about the local people, their culture by allowing them to stay on one of the house as a family member. A few guest rooms and kitchen are developed without disturbing the village environment. Villages continue their daily normal works and guests enjoy participating in the village activities.
“FOR SMALL DISTANCES ALL TRADITIONAL TRANSPORTS OF COUNTRY SIDE SHALL BE REVIVED AND PROMOTED AS PRODUCT OF RURAL TOURISM”
As tourists would be staying as a family member with host family, they can participate in all activities of their daily choirs. The friendly and hearty behaviours of the family members give a different experience that have never enjoyed before. They have the chance to eat the traditional local food prepared in the neat and clean kitchen, which are delicious and are hygienic.
The tour gives you the chances to explore the real villages unlike having spent short time in different villages on trek. Your accommodation is in an actual home, allowing you to feel the cross-cultural exchange in the more authentic way unlike staying at the local lodge filled with other backpackers. You may be observing the real rural cultural tradition from the closest quarter and intermingle with the locals. Besides, any expenses made at that level directly contribute to the welfare of the local community, which ultimately gives you the high sense of satisfaction. Throughout the world, village tourism has been identified as an important tool to alleviate poverty in rural areas.
In Sikkim the Village Tourism/Rural Tourism/ Home stay has very high potential and unique combination of many experiences like Village Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Pilgrimage Tourism, Art & Craft and above all the true culture-traditions of the countryside. A large segments of people of villages is involved directly and indirectly in the various tourism and its related business and hence their skill development and capacity building is must to benefit them. No book or literature in the world can teach about our country side as by the Village tourism.
This is the best option for National Integration and is a permanent solution. There would be inclusive development in all the sectors. The Central Government and all State Governments must give this top priority in Mission Mode and convergence of all development. But the prime needs like security, health, education, electricity, water supply, Transport including all traditional transports of countryside shall be assured.
Sikkim is a haven for adventure tourism. Some of the important adventure activities being promoted in the State are: Trekking, Mountain climbing and Mountaineering, Rock climbing, Mountain Biking River crossing, Paragliding, Bungee Jumping, water sports, White water rafting, Angling, skiing, skating, Hot air balloon, and many types of traditional adventures. Trekking and Mountaineering are by far the most vibrant and visible adventure tourism activities in Sikkim. The Indian Himalayan Center for Adventure & Eco-tourism (IHCAE), Chemchey, South Sikkim has become operational and it will now create a highly skilled manpower for all type of Adventure activities. The traditional adventure has the high market for urban people and hence this needs to be promoted in all the destinations to provide more employment and income. The adventure develop confidence in the people and for healthy society, it needs to be also promoted by all the countries and Governments especially for the youths and coming generations.
Tourism has become one of the key global industry, which is labour intensive, promote integrated development of all the sectors of region, country & State and it generates manifold benefits. Tourism has been growing consistently. Not only are more people traveling but they are increasingly spending more per trip highlighting the growing value of this sector. The dynamic growth of this industry is evident from the fact that globally tourism accounts for more than 11% of the global GDP and 8% of the world trade employment.
The Indian tourism industry has been performing very well in the last decades. It has made its place in domestic and international market both in numbers, revenue and quality. The development priorities of the Government of Sikkim are to place the economy on a significantly higher growth path to make the State not only economically self reliant but also to enhance the well being, achieve social equality, sustainability and efficiency. The tourism is a priority sector because it is: able to maximize the productivity of State’s natural, human, cultural and technical resources and are sustainable developments; labour intensive and cottage or small industry based, providing employment that is of a high quality; capable of being focused on rural areas with appropriate and relatively low cost investment; have forward and backward economic linkages that build overall income, employment especially for women, youth, and disabled person bringing greater social equity & justice; to earn the foreign exchange ; able to promote understanding, peace and contribute to national unity & integration.
The tourism is being developed and promoted in eco-friendly manner with the active participation of the private sector, all the stake holders and the local host communities. Though, Sikkim is a hilly State, but it could not come up as “HILL STATION” as the others in the past have come up. The unlimited and unparallel tourism potential of the State has not been fully realized/ utilized but at the same time, Sikkim has become a well sought after tourist destination at national and international level. In coming years, the State may be the best “HILL STATION” on the globe as the land of peace & tranquility, green, neat & clean, best hospitality and most beautiful place to compel people to feel Sikkim from within.
The overall goal and strategy for development of tourism industry is “To make tourism main livelihood of the People of Sikkim. Each & Every household & individuals shall become a Skilled Force for tourism industry. Enrichment of Peace & Tranquility, Culture, Tradition, Customs, Art, Natural resources & Environment through tourism, Enhancement of quality of life & happiness Index through tourism and provide the experience to tourists to “ FEEL SIKKIM FROM WITHIN.”
S. B. S. Bhadauria, IFS (Secretary, Tourism) Retired