It is common to hear of young people from rural areas migrating to cities in search of better livelihoods. The general idea among the youth is that sticking to their ancestors’ profession isn’t sustainable anymore. In a country that faces a shortage of livelihood opportunities, Grassroutes Journeys is trying to make a difference through a community based rural tourism initiative.
The projects are unique and sustained through rural communities. As the demand for experiences grows among Indian travellers, Grassroutes takes them to villages to experience rural life in its simplicity and authenticity. “The goal is to celebrate the uniqueness and diversity in every village, celebrate the Indianness,” says Inir Pinheiro, who, with friends, began Grassroutes Journeys in 2006. “When a community is in charge, the experiences they offer travellers are unique. A visitor, living among the locals, understands the nuances of their heritage, cuisine, the importance of rural simplicity and cultures.” Grassroutes has developed a sustainable model across four states (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, while Andhra Pradesh has recently come on board) and 17 villages. It hopes to increase the number to 30- odd villages by the year end. The organisation works with NGOs and gram panchayats to develop these unique experiences, and in turn, conserve rural heritage.
A traveller can experience life in a village, learn about its history, indulge in rural games, try out local delicacies, attend specialised workshops, such as, on village architecture, try their hands at farming, learn about nature, or even enjoy surreal offbeat breaks like watching a million fireflies. The tours can range from half-day experiences to almost 20 days, depending on the customisations and specifications of the traveller.
For more information, call +91-8879477437 or visit grassroutes.co.in