Homestay with the Missing Tribe - Majuli Island, Assam
The island of Majuli, situated right in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra River, is not only the largest inhabited river island of the world, but is also a treasure trove of ancient Assamese culture, tribal people and bird diversity. But each year, with the arrival of summers, the island faces massive erosion of its banks, fueled by the raging waters of the Brahmaputra. Since the last five hundred years, half of the island has already washed away.
It is urgent that people all over the world become aware of the problem of soil erosion being faced by the island, and unless much is not done soon, the very rich cultural heritage of the island will disappear like the moving waters of the Brahmaputra.
To promote and protect this island, and to help the tribal communities living on the island, Greener Pastures is extensively involved in supporting homestay initiatives of the local people. Our guests to the island will get a chance to stay in a homestay that is run by a very hospitable Missing family. The homestay called "La Maison De Ananda", was gifted to them by a French architect couple who fell in love with the magical aura of Majuli, and is a perfect place to indulge in exploring the islands secrets – where guests will get to witness the unique lifestyle of the Missing people, learn about the magnificent and yet simplistic Assamese satriya culture, and feel consciously awakened. Not only will the guests learn about a new place, but they will also be helping the local communities sustain.
We hope that with this endeavor, the importance of saving Majuli will get noticed through-out the world, and people will lend a helping hand.
Do spread the word!
Community based Eco-tourism initiative - Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong, a village of the Khasi Tribe, is situated amidst virgin forests in the Meghalaya Platueau. The village is regarded as the cleanest village in Asia. But keeping the village clean requires hard work and motivation. Dustbins made out of bamboo is found everywhere in the village, and the villagers make it a point to not litter anywhere else. The waste collected is then used as manure. Use of plastic has also been banned. The village, which has a literacy rate of a hundred percent, is now spreading the message of conservation and protection of the forests. Trees are regularly planted to ensure that the virgin forest remains replenished.
To further motivate themselves, the village is now open to responsible tourism. Accommodation facilities have been built and a friendly atmosphere has been established. Visitors to the village now get a chance to stay in the village tree house, live amongst the Khasi people and learn about their culture, indulge in their simple ethnic cuisine, explore the forest and witness the incredible living root bridges.
The income generated is used to sustain the cleaning methods of the village, and in forestation. But more than the money, tourism has acted as a source of inspiration for the villagers, giving them a certain pride, and motivating them towards methods of conservation.
If you are interested in visiting Mawlynnong, please contact us, or refer to package.
Community based Eco-tourism initiative - Manas National Park, Assam.
Manas National Park is a world heritage site, and one of the most prominent bio-diversity hotspots of Northeast India, boasting of a wide range of flora and fauna. But during the 1990’s, the national park witnessed a dark period – where poaching and logging almost wiped out the ecology of the National Park. But the last decade has seen a lot of improvement, fueled by pro-conservation decisions taken by the Assam government.
In 2005, a non-profit organization called Manas Ever Welfare Society (MEWS) was established. The NGO was formed by volunteering youth from the villages around the National Park, to bring an end to the rampant poaching that was going on, and to spread awareness in the local communities about wildlife. Since then, MEWS has brought about tremendous change in the mindsets of the people, and many of the poachers have surrendered, only to become conversationalists.
MEWS has developed three accommodation facilities in the National Park to cater to tourists. Run by local youths, with the support of Greener Pastures and other organizations, the influx of visitors has boosted the morale of the entire community. A new sense of love towards wildlife and conservation has been successfully established by this initiative. Also, tourism as a new source of economy has helped solve a lot the village problems, and the extra money is even spent on monitoring wildlife and erecting watchtowers to detect illegal incursions.
If you are interested in visiting Manas and in staying with the villagers, do contact us, or refer to package.