Tighter regulations for visits by foreign tourists and researchers – Odisha

The Odisha government on Saturday [preceding 25 February 2012] announced its decision to regulate the visit of foreign tourists and researchers to areas inhabited by vulnerable tribal groups such as Bondas, Dongria Kondhas and other such communities.

“No foreign tourist/researcher intending to visit the areas inhabited and frequented by the particularly vulnerable tribal groups [PVTGs] will do so without express permission from the District Magistrate,” said a press release issued by the office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. […]

In case of any violation, criminal cases should be lodged against the tourist/sponsor/tour operator under appropriate sections of the law.” […]

While the Bonda tribals live in the hill regions of Malkangiri district, the Dongria Kondhas live in the hilly areas of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.

According to the decision, the District Magistrate should allow people to visit only a limited number of villages/locations, taking into account the sensitivity of the area and bona fide of the purpose of visit. The tourists should be accompanied by a representative of the Development Agency of the concerned PVTG.

The government said no permission should be given for visiting these areas at night, and prohibited photography/videography of people belonging to the PVTGs.

“Physical proximity of the tourists to the PVTGs should be strictly prohibited and they should also not to be allowed to enter into the houses of the PVTGs.”

No permission should be granted for any form of amusement/entertainment by the PVTGs for the benefit of the tourists, the government said.

The tour operators, who intend to take tourists to these areas, should be registered with the Department of Tourism and Culture.

Source: “Odisha to regulate visits of foreign tourists to tribal areas” by Prafulla Das, The Hindu, 25 February 2012
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2932623.ece
Date Visited: Mon Mar 19 2012 11:25:18 GMT+0100 (CET)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

Members of the Dongria Kondh community in Odisha >>
Photo © Survival International

“I would like to direct attention to the general approach when we encounter the ‘other’ – the question of our protocol, etiquette and attitude. In our eagerness to know we probably show a disregard to these civilities. We try to buy friendship for building up rapport; we try to intrude into others’ territory without being invited and carry presents that we perceive would be appreciated to assert our friendliness.” – Anthropologist R.K. Bhattacharya in “The Holistic Approach to Anthropology” >>

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