I was born here in Chitwan. In my earlier life I used to work for a hotel called ‘Gaida Wild Life. Those days there were only three good hotels here. Slowly after twelve years I started my own business. My own hotel ‘Chitwan Gaida Lodge’ itself has passed a journey of fifteen years now. I never liked urban life so though some of my friends left Chitwan, I decided not to quit this place. I am really very fond of birds, animals, plants and peace. Therefore, when I build my hotel; I was most conscious as to carry out the work by cutting the least number of trees. Therefore one can see I have build a three storey building at the back corner in order to manage the space and save the big old trees standing around.
I appreciate the way young students have been devoting their time for research purpose and eager to know the lush environment around. Sometimes I help them by not charging them for their stay here. That is my contribution and I am very glad to do that. Recently some students had stayed with us during the rhino data collection process. Khopa College students also come here for their educational tour. My principles direct me pass whatever we learn to others. That is why I prefer buying books and pass them to youngsters who are eager readers.
Tourism is a very huge industry. Here some people even copy paste the website of other people. So innovation gets killed. When there is no creativity there is no development. Guests who visit Nepal want to see something genuine and ethnic. But I can see only concrete buildings growing around instead of real green trees. I suggest my friends in the tourism industry to at least save some of the trees. But there are some who just go on clearing them and then grow ornamental plants later.
Deforestation can hamper the tourism.Our guests also want to see the local fauna found in the wild. These type of decoration they can also see in their own countries. It’s sad that they return without knowing what kind of local plants, trees, birds and animals are found in a particular area. I have tried to extend the lush green area by letting the old trees in their earlier state. In my neighbors there is a thick vegetation. So at least a green region has been created. Once I saw one of my friend cutting a jack fruit tree. I told him to spare the tree. But he didn’t listen. I think the tree with all its fruits hanging around would not hamper anything, but add beauty to the place instead. Its really sad part that people build swimming pools by cutting down the trees. I think only three-four guests would increase because of the pool. It doesn’t make a huge difference. Trees are not only the source of oxygen, they are the homes for many endangered birds.
Deforestation also weans them of their habitat and the food they depend on. The Spiny Babbler or Kade bhyakura meaning thorny bird is only found in Nepal. It flies to the middle hills of Mahabharat range to lay eggs. The region above Shaktikhor is one of its favorite destination. It can be also sighted around the Kathmandu valley, specifically around the Godavari and Phulchoki area close to the city of Lalitpur. It was first spotted by Sidney Dillon Ripley, an American ornithologist, in Nepal. Chitwan attracts a lot of bird lovers and we need to maintain greenery to save the birds.
However we have tourism possibilities throughout the country. There is no single place in our country, which has no tourism significance. Each region or area with special features should be recognized and developed for the same. Specialization is a must. The Government should look towards such matter. We as responsible citizens of this land should protect our trees because deforestation not only disturbs the ecological system but also invites global warming. The tourism industry is also at risk due to this ! (Photo credit Sagar Giri)