If you are a nature lover who is concerned about saving earth from unmindful human activities, then this article means a lot to you. This is not a generalization of anything but a clear message to those travellers who had littered in the tourist destinations unmindful of its implications to our future generations. There is an involvement of few tour and activity operators as well in this wrong direction of promotion of a destination or activity.
Nature holiday destinations are not for ‘partying’ or abuse of resources in the name of ‘fun’. How many of us have seen the litter (beer bottles, food waste, plastics…) on the roadsides and have turned a blind eye assuming its ‘none of our business’. We are a democratic country with liberty to do many things compared to many nations in the world. But yet times we fail to raise to the occasion and stop wrong things happen in the society. What we need to instil in the minds of travellers is the concept of ‘responsible tourism’.
With stringent measures by the government (tourism department) against those littering at tourism hotspots it can set an example for future generations. There are a lot of social media based trekking, activity, guide type of individuals / businesses, who promise trekking in reserve forest regions, is it permitted? If yes, is it through any legal means? As a travellers you must be aware of a lot of things before signing up for services and tall promises made by shoddy businesses. Several seasoned travellers also have fallen prey to the ‘group treks’ organised by shoddy people who sit in ‘cities’ trying to organise a trek in the deep forests.
Beware about facts like with whom you are dealing and what is your holiday requirement. Without legal permissions from the authorities of the region do not enter forests thinking your ‘guide’ or ‘trekking expert’ is permitted to enter any forest at any time. Lot of tourists have landed in trouble without opting for right holiday services while going to nature holiday destination. Remember the forest acts and NGT are very strict and no nonsense organisations. Night safaris, camping and night trekking is banned in most of the forest regions in South India.
Coming to the covid-19 virus and the lockdown it has brought on people at large. Lockdown has benefited a lot for the nature as it got its time off to heal itself without human activities. There is no pollution or interference to wildlife by humans at forests and other nature holiday destinations. It’s not only the ozone layer but several other things in nature has recovered which has faced of destruction from a long period by human beings. You can see the trees, rivers, streams, waterfalls… everything has become more vital.
Experts are of the opinion that if we are in lockdown for a month or so nature heals and restores its grandeur back to at least a year. We are fighting Covid-19 locking ourselves in our homes whereas nature is cleaning its home and revitalizing its resources. Post Covid-19, when we resume travelling, make sure we practice not just social distancing but also great care towards nature. It will be a great service to nature if you can educate others who might be littering or misusing the resources. Together we can overcome any virus outbreaks, likewise we can also fight for our nature to keep its vitality at all times.
There are many local authorities linked to forest, tourism, police department who can help you deal with culprits at tourist destinations. The State Government of Karnataka has tourism helpline numbers (080-2235 2828, 080-2235 2626) to report any wrong doings in the name of ‘fun’ and ‘adventure’. If you find any offence at forests, there is a forest department helpline number (1926). Police department is available at calling 100, 101 for Fire Brigade and 102 for Ambulance. It takes no time to report a crime or miscreant activity at tourism destinations or in the nature. Next time when you travel remember it’s our collective effort to save nature and make it better for our future generations.