Nickolai Kinny, 24, dreamt of going places since she was nine. And she has revolved her life around facilitating travel tours for others.
Kinny left her job at Grassroutes, an organisation which helps city slickers discover rural India, in June last year to start her own project. Kinny and her colleague Rahul Bivay, 26, have started their own venture called Project Coffee Barter. The project invites people from across the world to share their travel stories over a cup of coffee. “We will compile hitherto unheard stories of 30 travellers in a book. There is one about a 19-year-old girl tracking tigers. There is another about a couple sailing and exploring islands of the coast of Mumbai,” said Kinny.
She feels that reading the book will encourage people to visit the place. “Travellers need to be sensitive about the places they visit. Sensitive travelling involves thinking about conservation of the environment and community,” she added.
Social entrepreneur Zainab Kakal, 26, is a partner at The Blue Yonder Associates, a travel consultancy which focuses on responsible tourism. “The concept of responsible travel has evolved over the past decade. It entails travel that allows travellers to conserve and develop the destination. Creating better places for people to live will create better places for people to visit,” said Kakal.
She is trying to get the tourism department of Gujarat to make the global birdwatching conference that the state will host at the tiny village of Dhordo towards the end of January an eco-friendly one. She and partner Gopinath Parayil are also working towards regenerating ‘pokkalli’ variety of rice in the calm backwaters of Kerala. “We arrange for farmers to hold demonstration projects for travellers who visit the backwaters. It will encourage locals to conserve their food forms, art and culture,” she said.
Omkar Gogate, 28, a former media executive, gave up his career a month ago to start a venture called Rumble On along with two of his friends. Rumble On envisions to take biking enthusiasts into the jungles of Madhya Pradesh or the Rann of Kutch on a shoe-string budget. “One observes numerous communities and the changing social fabric while biking to remote destinations. Observing people and striking up conversations brings out an array of stories,” said Gogate.