Saturday, July 3, 2010

Relocation: Kanha Villages

The center of attraction Kanha Tiger Reserves was once integral part of Kanha preserve. Due to requirement of inviolate space for endangered species and to reduce biotic pressure, relocation of villages became an imperative.

The spaces for agricultural land, live stock grazing pressure, firewood collection all were taking a heavy toll on the ecosystem. A badly shrunk and degraded ecosystem, could not afford such biotic pressure and destructive practices. The presence of human habitation was endangering wildlife. The animals like tigers and swamp deer were most affected since the latter was totally dependent upon swampy grasslands which were severely encroached.  

Most of the tribal in Kanha are Baigas, Gonds and others of various denominations. The relocation created lots of resentment among some. Apart from compensation the villagers benefit from joining the mainstream and eco development programs.

Responsible Tourism has been the largest beneficiary Vis a Vis employment and development in terms of skills and abilities. The remote settlements inside the habitation did not yield such bounties.     

The tribal till this date are able to practice their customary rites and rituals besides ingraining mainstream benefits like better education and health care facilities and ample job opportunities. 

The biggest benefit has arisen from the forest department which employs large number of local guides and laborers. The administration has employed many tribal in administrative task as well. It eco development program has benefited local communities.

The increasing number eco resorts in Kanha National Park and hotels follow responsible practices. A large number of local are employed in hotels in the periphery. The responsible tourism guide lines favor employment for local communities. These tribal communities have been part of heritage sites since centuries.  

Where ever proper compensatory schemes have been introduced the local communities in protected areas have benefited.  The State government is taking all positive steps to increase inviolate areas in Kanha. There are lots of programs that seek to benefit the poor and down trodden.

The tourism industry too should take active interest in responsible practice which will be a big step forward in conserving this heritage wealth. 
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