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Read the passage given below and answer the Openquestions that follow :
I got posted in Srinagar in the 1980s. Its rugged mountains, gushing rivers and vast meadows reminded me of the landscapes of my native place. the Jibhi Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Unlike Srinagar that saw numerous tourists, Jibhi Valley remained clouded in anonymity. That's when the seed of ce postarting tourism in Jibhi was planted. I decided to
leave my service in the Indian Army and follow the urge to return home. We had two houses - a family house and a tradition. house, which we often rented out. I pleaded with my
father to ask the tenant to vacate the house so that I could convert it into a guesthouse. When my family finally relented, I renovated the house keeping its originality intact, just adding windows for sunlight.
I still remember the summer of 1992 when I put a signboard outside my first guesthouse in Jibhi Valley! The village residents, however, were sceptical about my success. My business kept growing but it took years for tourism to take off in Jibhi Valley. Things changed significantly after 2008 when the government launched a homestay scheme. People
built homestays and with rapid tourism growth, the region changed rapidly. Villages turned into towns with many concrete buildings. Local businesses and tourists continued putting a burden on nature.
Then, with the 2020-21 pandemic and lockdown, tourism came to a complete standstill in Jibhi Valley. Local people, who were employed at over a hundred homestays and guesthouses, returned to their and villages. Some went back to farming; some took up pottery and some got involved in government work prive schemes. Now, all ardently hope that normalcy and tourism will return to the valley soon. In a way, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to introspect, els go back to our roots and look for sustainable
For me, tourism has been my greatest teacher. It obuis brought people from many countries and all states of India to my guesthouse. It gave me exposure to different cultures and countless opportunities to The learn new things. Most people who stayed at my spur guesthouse became my repeat clients and good friends. When I look back, I feel proud, yet humbled at the thought that I was not only able to fulfill my dream despite all the challenges, but also play a role in establishing tourism in the beautiful valley that I call home.
By: Parvesh Mehta ProfileResourcesReport error
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