This blog was initially started by I and Neil, both diehard travelers. We had an undiscovered passion for writing and fortunately, we were born in the right setting, where there is much splendor to write about – midst the great wilderness of Northeast India. And it was time to get serious; as all around, there can be seen evidence of how our home is rapidly changing into the monotonousness that is the modern ‘concrete’ world. The inhabitants of Northeast India, most of who are tribal people, are facing a threat to their indigenous methods of living, as many of them, in search of money and a so called “better life”, are choosing to abandon their animistic customs and migrate to towns and cities. And the ones, who do not choose to migrate from life in the jungle, are getting busy depleting the natural resources that surround them. This results in the two biggest threat that the biodiversity of Northeast India faces today – illegal cutting of trees and the poaching of wildlife, done to attain monetary gains, by simple and unaware locals. But they are not much to blame; rather, it is the pro-“development of economy” attitude of the Indian Government that has brought upon a trend of massive urbanization. In-fact, urban culture is blindly being promoted without any regulation on its impact, so much so that, many of the two thousand ethnicities that reside in India may not be the same a hundred years from now.

The irony is; the tribes already live a life that is rich. They have everything they need – they grow all kinds of organic foods, they live in sustainable houses and use sustainable products. The women are pretty and the men are strong and proud. And they may not have the luxury of electricity, but they do have the luxury of a healthier life.

So, about a year back, both of us gave our writing a kick start, by telling about our experiences in Northeast India. We wanted to showcase our beautiful home; the cultures, the landscapes, the people. And more than highlighting the grim situation of reality, our focus was to tell tales about the rich cultural and natural heritage, hoping that our writing would inspire people from faraway lands to pack their bags and visit North East. Ever since, the blog has been visited more than 10,000 times and has earned the attention of more than 600 beautiful individuals who follow us and who have subscribed to us. The most wonderful part of our journey till now, is the people who actually ended up in Northeast India. It has been a pleasure meeting each one of them and showing them around the place we live in. And without them, we would have never thought of turning the blog into a full-time job; leading in the formation of a travel-operating enterprise called Greener Pastures, which we co-founded.

We observed that, ecotourism, if properly and responsibly applied, can have a very positive impact on Northeast India. The idea is – when a tourist appreciates a place, it provides the people of that place a certain pride in what they have, and this leads them to conserve and protect what they have. And moreover, the income generated serves as a good and safe alternative to making money by poaching and logging. In Greener Pastures, we have integrated the above believes, ensuring that sustainability plays an important role in the shaping of our operations and products. Today, the readers of our blog not only get to read about Northeast India but Greener Pastures has also made it easier for them to visit the region.

The future is hopeful and filled with aspirations. Neil has left Greener Pastures to someday roam the world, but he will always remain a co-founder and an integral part of the enterprise. And as one person leaves, more have joined in. The organization has been engaging with many local youths, networking with them and giving them opportunities of employment. Indeed a good start to a small initiative.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the exclusive coverage of North East India. Do leave your comment if you enjoy an article and kindly spread the word about Greener Pastures. And as the world is small, hopefully, we shall meet someday, have a cold beer or two, and talk about whatever we feel like talking about.

Vaivhav Todi
Co-founder, Greener Pastures

To learn more about Greener Pastures and to browse itineraries, visit our website at – www.thegreenerpastures.com

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