Guwahati, August 11: Assam's rural tourism got a major boost when Kindulangso self-help group (SHG), founded by Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org, in the Kohora River Basin received an award for their exceptional commitment and achievements in rural tourism.
The award was presented at the 12th Annual General Meeting and the 13th Foundation Day of the Tour Operator Association of Assam (TOAA), held at IORA resort in Kaziranga, on 8th August.
At the award ceremony, Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) chairman, Rituparna Baruah presented the award to the members of SHG- Johnson Engleng, Bobita Hansepi, and Jina Rongpipi present in the ceremony. The event was attended by Kumar Padmapani Bora, IRS, Managing Director of ATDC, and Debajit Kumar Borah, President of TOAA.
The Kindulangso SHG which was established in 2018 with like-minded individuals and families from the villages of Chandrasing Rongpi, Hemai Lekthe, and Phumen Engti of Karbi Anglong district's Kohora River Basin (KRB) area near Kaziranga National Park.
In addition to developing their own homestays, the group has also been associated with the region's forefront biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak's 'Journey for Learning' programme. Additionally, a family from Bakring Engti too joined the group in 2022.
Based on the contribution to tourism, six individuals/group were selected for the award and the Kindulangso SHG was amongst the awardee. Currently, they manage eight homestays in the area which can host 26 guests at a time.
Since the beginning of its operation in 2018, Kindulangso has hosted approximately 148 guests from around the country. Their service and facilities have substantially boosted the ecotourism activities in the Karbi hills, whose exploration until in recent years was limited whereas the nearby Kaziranga National Park receives a sizeable number of tourists.
With the Kindulangso and other providers in operation, visitors can now enjoy nature tourism and culture of the ethnic Karbi community. During the “Journey for Learning” programmes of Aaranyak, designed to cater knowledge exchange for students, this SHG provides the participants an experience of the traditional Karbi food, and facilitate them with activities such as the village and river walks, jhum cultivation and visits to the Jhum-fields, and agro-biodiversity of the area.
The Team Aaranyak is delighted that the Kindulangso SHG has received the award and hope this serves as an inspiration and motivation for other local communities’ groups to take up such enterprise to promote the region’s rich biodiversity and culture and at the same time supplement their livelihood as well.
Aaranyak has been working cohesively with the Karbi community in the district, and this group was formed under the initiative of community-based Natural Resource Management Programme of Aaranyak.