And finally the day to our field trip has come. We all had been eagerly waiting for it ever since the day 1. We woke up even before the sun showed up and some didn’t even sleep out of excitement. We left for Jim Corbett from Delhi at 4:30 am. All were asleep on the way to brace up for the day. On the way we made our pit stop at Bikanerwala in Ghajrola to feed our empty stomachs.
At last after 7 hours of journey our destination Pratiksha river view hotel. Then the difficult part came. We all had to carry our heavy bags inside the hotel. Sounds easy but it weren’t. The stretch of the road was full of all sorts of stones. It wasn’t at all smooth. Gosh that small distance seemed to be miles. But struggle seemed worth once we entered the hotel. Kosi river was flowing right in front of the hotel. What a picturesque view it was in addition to the pleasant weather. Yes after checking in to our rooms we went to take a dip in the river. All our fatigue after a long journey seemed to have gone. The water was clear festooned with varied pebbles and algae.
Later in the evening Ramesh, our guide came to speak about the issues of the community around the area. It was very shocking to know how local villagers are excluded from idea of development and how they are denied with basic rights and amenities. The relocation has proved to be a big fail.
The following talk was by Meeraj who works with WWF there. He spoke about tiger and its economics and also how WWF is supporting the government in their mission to save tigers.
Both the talks highlighted the other facet of Jim Corbett which is overshadowed by the tourism and remain unknown to most of us. It was quite learning!
Soon after all of us went for an evening stroll around the area, had our supper, laughed, took lots of picture and finally retired for the night. This day was full of fun, excitement and learning. Looking forward for the rest of our trip.
– Deepika Sharma