What a Difference Your One Day Makes
The first obvious contribution to the development of a host community is economic. Services such as accommodation, food, guiding, vehicles, craft classes, etc., are provided by the host community – the guests pay directly to the service provider or at the most with one middleman in between. The end result is that the revenue flow into that community is positive and can be made steady. This is a big difference that you as a traveller make when you actually stay in another India. Yes, you could stay in the comforts of the city and make a day trip to explore the surroundings. Then the revenues go through multiple layers and rarely reach the host community.
Travellers don't often realize this – but you do provide a window into the world for the host community. You take with you your customs and habits where you travel – both the good and the bad. Whether you are being polite to a child or chewing gum and spitting it out on the road, every gesture is noticed and often emulated. In a village in Karnataka, more families started demanding toilets of the panchayat as more visitors came in. They felt shamed when visitors would comment on the filth in the village. In a village in western India, a separate teacher was appointed to teach girls. This was fairly revolutionary for this conservative village and was the result of many guests asking why there were no girls in school.