Tourism for Tiger con­ser­va­tion

Hon­orary Sec­re­tary of Tiger Trust An­jana Go­sain was in­vited by Clem­son Univer­sity, South Carolina, as the key­note speaker at the first meet­ing of the National Tigers for Tigers Coali­tion. She talks about how tour op­er­a­tors and hote­liers need to con­trib­ute

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Com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion is good, but it should not let you for­get your ba­sic du­ties. Tigers are im­por­tant for tourism

Tiger con­ser­va­tion is an im­por­tant re­spon­si­bil­ity that we all have to­wards our national an­i­mal. And Tiger Trust has been work­ing re­lent­lessly in In­dia for more than five decades to pro­mote this cause. The trust’s Hon­orary Sec­re­tary An­jana Go­sain was in­vited at Clem­son Univer­sity, South Carolina, as the key­note speaker at the first meet­ing of the National Tigers for Tigers Coali­tion. The stu­dent group Tigers for Tigers showed their pas­sion to save wild tigers at Clem­son Univer­sity when they united with 13 other tiger mas­cot schools to cre­ate a new ‘National Tigers for Tigers Coali­tion’. Go­sain says, “I ap­prised those present there about the Royal Ben­gal Tiger and the ef­forts made by the govern­ment and the other stake­hold­ers to pre­serve them. The stu­dents are cam­paign­ing against tigers in cap­tiv­ity, and we want to see the tigers in their nat­u­ral habi­tat.”

Go­sain also ad­dressed the many chal­lenges that wild tigers face – habi­tat de­struc­tion, poach­ing and more in­creas­ingly hu­manan­i­mal con­flict. She ac­knowl­edges the power of the youth to act as a de­ter­rent. “The youth have a very im­por­tant role to play as far as con­ser­va­tion is con­cerned. Those of us who are pro­fes­sion­als may be con­cerned, but we may not al­ways have the time to talk, cam­paign and make oth­ers aware of the prob­lems. The youth can take up this re­spon­si­bil­ity. The num­ber of tigers in cap­tiv­ity is 10 times more than the ones in the wild. Be­cause once you see them in your back­yard then there is no cu­rios­ity to see them in their nat­u­ral habi­tat.” How­ever, it’s not just the youth, Go­sain says tour op­er­a­tors and hote­liers also have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards con­ser­va­tion. She says they play a very im­por­tant role in ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic. “Some of the most im­por­tant as­pects that have been dis­cussed at length are ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness. Be­sides the com- mer­cial part, hote­liers also have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make tourists aware of their sur­round­ings and raise ob­jec­tions to any­thing wrong tak­ing place around them. Un­der our Con­sti­tu­tion, it’s not only our right to en­joy the en­vi­ron­ment, but we should also pro­tect it. Com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion is good, but it should not let you for­get your ba­sic duty. If there are no tigers, there will be no tourism. Tour op­er­a­tors should re­spect the rules and reg­u­la­tions that are now in place and also make peo­ple aware.”

An­jana Go­sain

Hon­orary Sec­re­tary Tiget Trust

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