Friday, December 19, 2014

Rise and Fall of Bandhavgarh 6

Lodges which are doing false bookings are actually forcing small lodges out of business and increasing corrupt practices.
This is not good.
Big lodges do not improve local economy at all, this is being proven many times but because they have clout in the system so they get upper hands in every move of the management.
This should not happen any more.
High cost of entry fee has already removed local tourists (from near by towns) from the scene. People who are not able to visit the jungle only because of the cost are loosing interest in every conservation move.
Their thinking is "this is all for rich people's game so why we look at that side at all." (read why help in conservation of anything)
Some policies needs to change to save the interest of a genuine tourist.

In previous para I used a word "Local Tourist".
Let me put here what I mean with that. 
In early 70's to till 90's people from nearby town and cities use to visit Bandhavgarh and when they have any guest they use to bring them here to show them a Tiger. Many people use to arrange family functions on saturday or sunday so they can visit Bandhavgarh on sunday morning to see a Tiger on Tiger show.
In those days people from surrounding areas use to feel proud of Bandhavgarh. 

I remember so many families from Satna, Amarpatan, Maihar, Katni, Jabalpur, Shahdol, Umaria,Chandiya, Birsinghpur Pali and Budhar who use to bring their guests here. 
Mr Hasan the then Field Director (1981 -83)started a tradition that whenever there is a Tiger show near the main gate he allowed Tala villagers to see the Tiger without charge. Forest deptt, White Tiger Forest Lodge and Jungle Camp vehicle use to ferry the villagers.
Mr R.C.Sharma went a step further and allowed locals free entry and Tiger show in the park on last day of the season, 30th June.
This became a permanent fixture and only broken after the transfer of Late Sh Sumukh Joshi.
These things made a big impact on their (locals) mind and everyone was treating National Park as OURS.
Now we don't see that feeling in villagers heart or mind.
It's a big loss for conservation.

Now we see a completely changed behaviour of villagers. Till few years back villagers use to take cattle lifting as a simple norm in their life style.Then the N.G.O. started pumping in their pocket.
Only to ensure that villagers make more hue and cry for their cattle and they (NGO) stand there as their (Villagers) sole supporter.
This and the corruption made things worst for animals.
I must tell you that forest deptt staff never suffers from malpractices and villagers never wants any kind of wild animal around them.
So basically it's the NGO and some petty politicians made them greedy for the money and changed there thinking.
I have seen a film in which some big NGO working in villages around Bandhavgarh providing drip irrigation system to villagers is giving them only 16 mm or 12 mm pipe. They make holes in these pipe to run the water like a jet.
I dont see it as a help for villagers? I see it as a more help for NGO.
Film will bring more money in NGO's pocket. 
So in all things are not in favour of wildlife.
People are going away from it.     

1 comment:

Jan van der Veen said...

Thank you mr Tawari for keeping this blog up and running. I enjoy your posts with great interest and learn new things about bhg everytime i visit your blog.
It's interesting to learn about the politics as well as the safari related news.
Keep up your great work and perhaps i see you in bhg on my next visit.