HomeEducationSonam Wangchuk: Need to promote responsible tourism for empowering the tribal community

Sonam Wangchuk: Need to promote responsible tourism for empowering the tribal community



“Responsible tourism has the potential to preserve the ancient tribal traditions, conserving the unique products and at the same time provide a means of sustainable livelihood,” said Sonam Wangchuk, Founder, Student’s Educational & Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) at a virtual conference on ‘Leveraging heritage of Tribal Communities’ organized by the apex industry body, The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).

Speaking at the ASSOCHAM Centre for Excellence (CoE) event, Wangchuk said, “When tourism is opened up, artisans who would earlier need to go door to door to sell their market find a ready market among the tourists who come to visit them.”

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“So when villages from Ladakh were open for tourism, mothers who earlier operated farm stays found a ready visitor for her spare room. Her neighbor who is making handicraft products will now find a ready buyer for her products. And her neighbor who could be a farmer or a provider of any other service would also find means to generate income. Her educated kids who would otherwise be migrating to other cities for employment would also not want to leave as they have a decent source of income now,” He said.

According to Wangchuk, there is a need to tribalize the mainstream society instead of doing it the other way round. 

“These indigenous communities are known to live in harmony with nature. Look what industrialization has done to nature in the last 50 years. Almost 58 percent of all the wildlife has gone extinct. While in the Covid pandemic 4 million people lost their lives till now, air pollution on the other hand causes the death of almost 7 million people in the world every year. This is what rapid industrialization is causing,” he added.

Wangchuk further explained that there is a need to support tribal people and the products that they make. “There is a need to bond with these people. Tourism if it is managed responsibly can be a great catalyst for both the tribal community as well as the mainstream society,” he added.

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Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder, CEO & Group Editor of TechGraph.

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