Taj Safaris’ Walk with the Pradhis is a pioneering new jungle experience by members of the local Pardhi tribe in Panna National Park in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Taj Safaris now supports training for the local hunting tribe – Pardhis, to leverage their natural tracking talent to offer an immersive and interactive wilderness experience to the travellers.
Panna National Park, a wildlife reserve, had suffered devastating effects of poaching wherein the Pardhi community, known for their jungle knowledge; was used for the unlawful activities. Strict anti-poaching laws led to a significant increase in tigers numbers but left the Pardhis to look for alternate sources of income. This initiative will offer an alternative to poaching and a new livelihood for future generation of Pardhis.
Taj Safaris, Last Wilderness Foundation and the Panna Forest Department came together to introduce a sustainable tourism initiative which is one of its kind in India. Not only does it offer livelihood to the Pardhis as jungle guides but also defines the future of conservation in the forest. The training programme equips the participants with fine guiding techniques and enhances their already existing knowledge of the bio-diversity and the forests in preparation for an alternate livelihood. Since its inception two batches of Pardhi youth including 16 men and 4 women are engaged with Taj Safaris and several others in the state’s tourism eco-system.
Nagendra Singh Hada, Area Director, Taj Safaris said, “We have harnessed the three T’s – tigers, tribes and tourism to create a successful sustainable initiative. Taj Safaris is celebrating the Pardhi’s understanding of the forests and helping them leverage their knowledge to protect their fragile eco-system while creating a new livelihood for the tribe in the tourism industry. Travellers can now gain a deeper understanding of the forest life accompanied by a member of the Pardhi tribe – a nomadic hunting tribe whose knowledge of the land is as ancient as time.”
Taj Safaris in Madhya Pradesh employs 70% local workforce; enabling skilled human resource and generating income through tourism. This initiative is deeply rooted in the parent company, The India Hotels Company Limited’s values for embedding Social Inclusion & Tata Affirmative Action in its CSR.
Source: TOH PR