Almost everybody loves travelling, but have you ever been to a popular, scenic destination in India and wished that you could get to stay the life of the locals for a few days. Well, in that case, you’re not alone. There are many in India, especially the youth, who’re keen to discover the beauty and authenticity of rural India. And the best part is that there are travel planners who arrange rural experiences for eager urban travellers. And what better than Travel to sensitize urban dwellers towards India’s cultural and scientific heritage that is still surviving in villages.
The main highlight of such trips is that you’re not a mere observer, instead you’re encouraged to immerse in local life, live like them for a few days, and take back valuable knowledge. Its much more than just visiting ancient temples or heritage sites or even passing by the villages enrolee to some popular destination.
On such trips, you actually mingle with the local folk, learn from elders in the village and get to experience the real rural life. You basically live their lives, cook food with them, dress like them, participate in the school as students, not teachers. This is completely the opposite of volunteerism where you go to a village to teach them something; here you go to learn. In the process, you get to learn about age-old concepts such as organic farming, folk songs, traditional medicine, folk cuisine and the education system.
Seems daunting? Not really! There are many who have returned from such trips and feel that rural life is not as difficult or uncomfortable as many believe.
The best part about such trips is that you get to stay in a village, but not too far from the typical tourist destinations. So you can experience village life and yet not miss out on the popular attractions.
More About ‘The Folk Tales’
One such group ‘The Folk Tales’ work with local change organizations in villages to organise such trips and also shares the earnings they get thus benefitting the villages as well. About 100 people have travelled with The Folk Tales in the past year.
‘The Folk Tales’ even have a unique feature called the ‘Reverse Learning Program’ that is designed for school and university students, which includes activities along with the local residents, enabling them to bond with and learn from each other.
The Folk Tales is therefore targeting university students and schools at this stage. Another target customer for The Folk Tales is the foreign traveller who wants to see an India beyond the Taj Mahal and palaces of Rajasthan.
The Folk Tales now aims to tie up with ‘authentic’ NGOs and include them in the itineraries for travelers and support the work in handicrafts, music and other activities that promote Indian culture. It is also looking to tie up with schools in India and international universities for the ‘Reverse Learning Programs’. Lastly, he hopes to engage travelers from Europe and America for organized group travel.
The Folk Tales: marrying rich travel experiences with social enterprise
Mahatma Gandhi once famously said: “The future of India lies in its villages.” Today, India's youth is keen to discover the beauty and authenticity of rural India. To help them and to also help Indian villages in the process, software engineer-turned …