Assam: Women central to rural tourism ventures in Golaghat.

Assam: Women central to rural tourism ventures in Golaghat.

Rural Tourism

Melamora (Assam): In an old village in Assam, Pranita is busy peeling and chopping vegetables while another woman cleans a boat in a nearby pond and two others sit at the door and talk to each other.

This could be the scene of any rural household in Assam, except that these women are engaged in activities at a tourist spot in the interior of Golaghat district.
“We are a group of 20 women who look after the tourist park here in Melamora. We all gather in the morning to clean the premises and for the rest of the day, we take turns to cater to the visitors. are divided into six groups,” Pranita told PTI.

He said the park was developed on a barren plot of government land by Khumtai MLA Mrinal Saikia, who has now handed it over to the village women to run it.
“Of the total earnings, two-thirds is distributed to the women and one-third is kept for her maintenance. We have a good number, especially during the winter, and the local men also help us with the heavier work. We do,” said Praneetha.

Apart from quiet places for people to relax, it has a children’s section, boating facility and dining area.
Pradyut Khound, a local who is active with rural tourism projects in Khamtai, said that there are two more such places that have been developed under the initiative of the legislator and now provide sustenance for families living in the vicinity.
“There is one park in Jogibel, which is near Golaghat town, and the other is in Missamora Mudoi village area. The one in Jogibeel was known for its migratory birds, but now it has been given a proper environment,” he said. said

Near Melamora Park is a Chang Ghor’ (slut house), named Meluha by its owner, which has become a major tourist draw.
Khound said curious onlookers used to visit the house, which is decorated with antiques from around the world and filled with plants and trees of various species.

The owner, a doctor by profession, eventually decided to turn it into a tourist attraction, keeping one room closed for personal use only.

The regular maintenance of the house is entrusted to three families. They collect the entry fee, which runs into thousands of rupees during the tourist season, and ensure its maintenance, he added.
Saikia, who is the brain behind these rural tourism initiatives, said, “We wanted to involve the local community in running these projects. This ensures better maintenance of the places and also empowers them economically.

“We have seen great enthusiasm among women and youth for these projects. The women themselves pooled resources and went to see how many tourist spots were maintained in Meghalaya. Later, we started this project for the youth. Arranged a trip of sorts.

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