HI Destination Management is organizing an event named BAGHESUR- Tiger, Tribal & Tourism workshop cum Fest which literally translates into “The Tiger God’, emphasizes on monetizing through rejuvenation of inherent Art, Craft & Culture of Baiga tribe. This effort is in guidance of Mr Mike Pandey who has dedicated his life to conservation through his 30 years old “Earth Matters Foundation”. Earth Matters has joined hands with HI Destination Management to organize and promote this festival. We sincerely believe that this workshop would help in creating improved & sustaining livelihood of community living on the edge of the national park since thousands of years. This monetization would in small little way reduce Baiga people direct dependence on forest and conflict with animals. A healthy population of tigers would in turn be booster for tourism.
Addressing the media persons, Mr. Mike Pandey shed light into the work initiated to resuscitate the tiger population in the Ranthambore Sanctuary. Mr. Pandey said the Mogia tribe, earlier notorious for poaching, have been transformed into tourist guides. “By involving the local community, we managed to increase the tiger population. In fact, the Mogia tribal community is now lending a helping hand in conservation by becoming guides. Their children are studying in a school set up near the Sanctuary. We need to introduce this project in other areas of the country.”
While Mr. Pandey talked exclusively on holistic approach of creating opportunity for Baiga Tribe and Tiger conservation, Mr. Sachin Sharma talked extensively on role of niche Tour Operator as an important stake holder in taking such social business initiatives to directly benefit the community in their respective work area. While lauding the likely support to be extended by Madhya Pradesh Tourism through Umaria District Tourism Promotion Council, Mr. Sharma asked other private & corporate houses to come forward and help this last priority of our generation. When asked by media persons, Mr. Sharma narrated how he abandoned the very idea of building yet another hotel even after buying big land parcel at Bagdara Village and securing permission to build. Mr. Sharma sounded confident on creating a Heritage Training Centre to set up a Heritage Training Center to serve as a multi functional training facility for families on Temporary Assistance basis. The programs offered would include integrate life and vocational skills, cultural values and history, as well as provide entrepreneurial avenues and initiate opportunities to learn traditional arts & crafts. This center will not only give tribal people the tools they need to carry on their cultural value, but also would give the Tribe an opportunity to share with the community. The facilities may also can be made available as Bed & Breakfast establishment by the travelers for a fee to help sustain the operating costs.
Later, Mr. Faisal Rizvi shared that Baghesur – Art, Craft & Culture workshop cum fest happening at Tala, Bandhavgarh National Park from 21st February to 24th February’ 2014 is primarily to showcase and create awareness on how the tribal see the tiger. Mr. Rizvi in particular lauded the effort of Mr. Ashish Swami and his enthusiastic team of tribal people working day and night to showcase their neglected and non-valued art & craft. Mr. Rizvi said one of the immediate agenda post the event would be to work on “Buy Local” campaign and this initiative would be taken to other tour operators and area’s hotel and resort. Already few of the hotels such as Monsoon Forest and Taj Safari Lodge is showing keen interest.
Some key highlights of the event are as follows:
Ø Live tribal art workshop & display
Ø Folk songs and cultural program.
Ø Tribal Food & lifestyle.
To conclude, Mr. Sharma thanked the media personal for attending press conference and felt huge need to create awareness on such smaller initiatives and exhorted them with saying on behalf of Baiga tribe “Does this world have a place for me” Let’s assure them, Yes indeed !
Mr. Faisal Ahmed Rizvi +91-9711070786
Faisal Ahmed Rizvi
Faisal Ahmed Rizvi