Back to the Village
Inir Pinheiro 31 OWNER Grassroutes Journeys, Mumbai
He wants shining India to get a feel of how things work in the lights-out countryside. Inir Pinheiro owns Grassroutes Journeys, a tourism company that functions as a tour operator and gives urban Indians an opportunity to experience life in villages. Pinheiro and his team of seven people organise what they call ‘experiential’ trips to three Maharashtra villages: Purushwadi, Valvanda and Dehena. These are marginal farming areas where most families are landless and don’t have a steady income. A two day-one night stay at a village of your choice costs anywhere between Rs 1,900 to Rs 2,500. Modern sanitation facilities have been put in place in all the villages; sleeping bags are provided to the tourists. Pinheiro, who completed his management degree in 2006 from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, has invested Rs 35 lakh in the venture. Grassroutes Journeys hopes to break even in 2012-13.
Grassroutes Journeys is a great idea for creating sustainable employment.”
Ritu verma, Partner, Ankur capital, a social investment seed fund
For someone who didn’t know any other language besides English, connecting with tribals in the countryside was a huge hurdle. What began as a village tour involving five Purushwadi families has now expanded to 80 families in that village.
Grassroutes Journeys aims to organise tours to 200 villages across India in the next five years, creating one million jobs.