Utilizing the skill of the tribals in driving the coracles, it was proposed to arrange an Eco Tourism in Karamadai Range, availing the funds granted under XII Finance Commission scheme, for the sustained income to the tribal people and also to improve the basic amenities of these villages viz., education, sanitation, health, transportation, Communication etc..
Novel Idea ...
The novel idea of forming an Eco Tourism in Karamadai Range involving the Tribal people to generate sustained income to the tribal families and also to create awareness among the nature lovers and tourists coming from urban areas have been evolved during April 2007, utilizing the funds provided under peoples participation in JFMC under XII – Finance Commission.
Two Committees viz. Barlikkadu Eco Tourism JFM committee and Poochimarathur Eco Tourism JFM committee have been formed involving 5 tribal villages in each committee. The members of the committee elect president of the Committee and Forest Ranger of Karamadai Range is the Ex-Officio secretary for the committee. Individual Bank Accounts have been opened in Indian Overseas Bank at Dhayanur for the monetary transactions of the two committees.
Rs.1.50 Lakhs to each committee have been allotted for running the Eco Tourism. Out of the amount allotted, 5 Coracles, 25 Chairs, 5 teapoys and 20 life jackets were purchased for each committee. coracles were seated with cushion upholstery and life jackets were purchased for the safe coracle ride.
10 Women Self Help Groups ...
10 Women Self Help Groups were formed in all tribal village of these committee and Rs.10,000/- was allotted to each WSHG towards revolving fund for their income generation activities.
Coracle Rides ...
20 trained tribal men were enrolled to drive the coracles. The coracle ride is being conducted only on Saturday and Sundays.
Each coracle can be accommodated with 4 tourists and hence totally 40 tourists in all 10 coracles.
Rs.300/- for adults and Rs.200/- for children (below 15 years) are collected as charges for the coracle ride.
The Coracle charges include:
- trekking inside the jungle
Children below 5 years are allowed free.
Generally this coracle ride starts by 10 Am and completed with 2 hours joy in the Bhavani river back water. Tourists are enjoying the beauty of the forests and they can interact with tribal villagers situated along the bank of the river.
After the ride, delicious lunch with traditional tribal food viz., ragi balls with fish curry, vegetable salad, chappathi-kuruma, variety rice, curd rice with mineral water and fruits are served with utmost hygiene.
The food is prepared and served by the WSHG member of Baralikkadu village with love and affection. Tourists very much appreciate the quality and taste of the food.
Trekking and Bathing ...
The tourists are taken for trekking inside the jungle followed by lunch in the gentle terrain so that the women and children also enjoy the jungle ride followed by cheerful bathing in the clean Bhavani river.
Generally these operations are conducted both morning and evening on the week ends only so that we can offer this opportunity to 80 persons on each day.
Rs.200/- is given to the coracle driver for each trip and Rs.100/- is given to the WSHG towards the supply of food per lunch.
This joyful coracle ride was stared from 7th Apr ’07 and the total collection is Rs.4,38,150/- till the end of January 2008.
Rs.86,300/- was paid to the tribal people towards the driving of the coracles and Rs.1,30,400/- was paid to the Tamarai WSHG towards the supply of food.
So far 1812 tourists enjoyed this joyful coracle ride with their families especially with their children.
Standard of Living Improved ...
Definitely, this programme is going to be a successful one in tribal development and improve the standard of life and economic status of the tribal people. And also it will play an important role in awareness creation in Forest conservation among the tourists.
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