State and development: Changes in livelihood strategies in garhwal with special reference to ecotourism in the gangotri region
- 125 Downloads
The object of the paper is to provide an insight into the changes in livelihood strategies of the people in the Garhwal Himalayas over time. From sustaining an economy based on transit trade and subsistence agriculture, there has been a shift towards tourism in recent times. This shift has been due to the tradition of pilgrimage to the higher reaches and also due to promotion by the state by developing infrastructure and providing incentives.
The paper is divided into four parts. In the first part, the policies of the colonial state and the events leading to the destruction of forests and the impoverishment of the self-sustaining semi-pastoral economy in the Garhwal Himalayas are outlined. It is argued that the destruction of forests and subsequently, the economy of the Himalayas were directly responsible for the large-scale migration to the plains. This also led to further exploitation of forests by the people who were unfamiliar with any other form of livelihood. The paper also discusses the policies of the newly independent Indian state and sees them as an extension of the British policy of large-scale exploitation of Himalayan forests for the purpose of development and economic growth. In the third section, the growth of ecotourism as a direct outcome of the process of deforestation and as resulting from the need of society to conserve and yet to earn a livelihood is discussed. The case study of the Gangotri region examines the dilemma faced by the people of Garhwal in sustaining their livelihood, income or the development in the area. In addition, tourism has fostered monopolies of groups external to the region thereby contributing neither to the income or the development in the area. In addition, there is an added threat to the environment-deforestation, and erosion-a direct outcome of increased and unplanned tourism. Such problems demand state intervention and management of tourism. The conclusion to the paper asserts that in order that the requirements of the society to progress and to sustain itself in its natural habitat are not compromised, it is essential to increase the process of democratization by strengthening local structures and by vesting the community with the autonomy to determine its future.
The paper therefore argues that ecotourism in the Himalayas undertaken without local involvement is not desirable. The constant need for local monitoring of external agencies or even of the State’s participation and the need for re-evaluation of environmental standards are cumbersome details that add to the costs of promoting low-impact tourism. To be viable, ecotourism should be community based and the needs of the community, their ideas of conservation should be given prime importance and local community must be encouraged to review the standards governing conservation. Local structures should thus receive patronage and promotion, so that ecotourism becomes a dynamic facet of economic development.
KeywordsGangotri Garhwal Himalayas ecotourism Uttaranchal participation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Mehta GS. 1997.Impact of Tourism in the Economic Development of Uttaranchal. Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow.: 3. 90Google Scholar
- Rawat Ajay S. 1992.History of Forest Management in Tehri Garhwal State. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.Google Scholar
- Rawat Ajay S. 1993.History and Growth of Forestry in Central Himalaya (1815–1947). Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.Google Scholar
Books and Articles
- Bardhan P. 1984.The Political Economy of Development in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bisht Harshwanti. 1994.Tourism in Garhwal Himala. New Delhi: Indus.Google Scholar
- Chaturvedi Gitanjali. 2002. Ecotourism in Gangotri region of the Garhwal Himalayas.Tourism Recreation Research 27(3): 123Google Scholar
- Farooqui Amar. 1997.Colonial Forest Policy in Uttarakhand. New Delhi: Kitab Publishing House.Google Scholar
- Gadgil M and Ramachandra Guha. 1995.Ecology and Equity: The Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India. New Delhi (Reprint): Penguin Books India.Google Scholar
- Guha R (ed.). 1994.Social Ecology. New Delhi: OUP, India.Google Scholar
- Kaur J. 1985.Himalayan Pilgrimages and the New Tourism. New Delhi: Himalayan Books.Google Scholar
- Kothari A, N Singh & S Suri (eds.) 1996.People and Protected Areas: Towards Participatory Conservation in India. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kothari A, N Pathak, RV Anuradha, eds.). 1998.Communities and Conservation: Natural Resource Management in South Asia. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kothari Uma & Martin Minogue (eds.). 2002.Development Theory and Practice. Hampshire: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Lea J 1988.Tourism and Development in the Third World. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mahajan Jagmohan. 1984.The Ganga Trail. New Delhi: Clarion.Google Scholar
- Mehta GS, 1996.Uttarakhand: Prospects of Development. New Delhi: Indus.: 26Google Scholar
- Nanda N. 1999.Forests for Whom? Destruction and Restoration in the UP Himalayas. New Delhi: Har Anand Publications Private Limited.Google Scholar
- Rangan Haripriya, 2000.Of Myths and Movements: Rewriting Chipko in Himalayan History. London: Verso.: 70 72–74, 117, 121, 128.Google Scholar
- Singh JS (ed.) 1985.Environmental Regeneration in the Himalaya: Concepts and Strategies. Nainital: The Central Himalayan Environment Association and Gyanodaya Prakashan.Google Scholar
- Singh TV, Jagdish Kaur & DP Singh (eds.) 1982.Studies in Tourism, Wildlife Parks Conservation. Delhi: Metroploitan.Google Scholar
- Singh TV & Jagdish Kaur (eds.). 1983.Himalayas, Mountain and Men. Lucknow: Print House India.Google Scholar
- Skinner, Capt. Thomas. 1832.Excursions in India: Including a walk over the Himalaya Mountains to the Sources of the Jumna and the Ganges. London: Henry Colburn and Richard BentleyGoogle Scholar