Friday, June 14, 2024



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Bed and breakfast concept alien

The State Tourism Department is promoting village tourism through a scheme where Government bears 90% of the cost of constructing an additional room plus toilet and bathroom facilities to own home. All this is fine but the villagers have to be capacitated to understand the concept. They understand the bed part but breakfast is an alien concept. Khasis do not know what breakfast is.

This is something we have learnt after graduating from the kitchen (iing-shetja- literal meaning – home for cooking food) to the dining table. In the villages people would have tea with a bit of cold rice or biscuits or bread in the morning and by about 9 o’clock they have their food (what is now called lunch). At noon some have another round of food (rice and curry).

At about 3 o clock they have tea and by 6 or 7 o clock its time for dinner. Capacity building means training people what breakfast is and what sort of breakfast the visitor would want. Said a tour promoter, “If that’s the case we are tailoring our tourism to meet the needs of tourists.

But if we really want to promote our village tourism then the tourists should be exposed to our culture and food habits.” At least that’s what most international tourists want – to soak in our culture and go back with some learning. We are told much of the funds from Tourism Department is lying unutilised! So much about borrowed concepts!

 Can these kids go to school?

Pictures like these speak a thousand words. This picture was taken on a week day morning when children normally attend school. But for many families school is leisure they cannot afford.

The girl-child has to learn house-keeping and looking after her younger siblings by age seven or eight.

The boys have to fetch water and also sell betel but and cigarettes at Khyndailad. Many of these kids have been abandoned by their own parents and many are mental wrecks at a very young age since they have learnt to abuse substances like dendrite and to smoke and drink at a very tender age.

A pastor who gives shelter to these kids says what is sad is that many of them have mothers who no longer want them.

If they keep the kids it is because they can make them work. Tribal clan values going haywire?

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