The Nepal Digest - November 1, 1993

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The Nepal Digest Thursday, 4 November 93 Volume 21: Issue 3

Today's Topics:

      6. Taja_Khabar: News from Nepal III
      7. Kura_Kani: Nature-Tourism
      8. Bhool_Sudhar: Wrong singer

  * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
  * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
  * Editing Editor: Padam P. Sharma *
  * Discussion Moderator: Ashutosh Tiwari *
  * News Correspondent: Vivek SJB Rana *
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Folks! Its doing it again! I think I know what the problem
               is, I believe I need to stay with one emulation instead
               of converting between VT-# and 3270 (sorry for the computer
               jargon here). Hopefully it won't happen again.

               To all TND members, on behalf of TND Editorial Board,
               Happy Tihar!!!!

               -Rajpal J. Singh


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1993 03:37 EST From: Sanjay Subject: Re: nature tourism

Normally, I am the quintessential lurker. But this post irked me enough to get me off my behind. So...

In the last issue of TND, writes: (edited)

>Title: Nature Tourism in Nepal: "Kuhire ko bandar"
>...apologists for development who moan how we are the last in the GNP rank
>and how we are the "Bandars".
>Kasko bandar ko?

   "Apologists" for development? I am against "development" at ALL costs certainly, but I am just as surely in favor of progress. You talk of
"our Nepalese grandmothers...steeped in traditional superstition and racism." Are we to understand here that we leave them that way? While
"civilization" is a subjective word, even the staunchest Nepali cannot but admit that in terms of economic and technological development, Nepalis are certainly more than a little lagging with respect to most other countries. To own up to this fact is neither weakness nor servility - it is merely an acceptance of reality.
   All this however does not a monkey make. Kohi kasaiko bandar hoina. We are all human beings. I think we are all quite sure of that.

>Here are some facts from a recent article on the topic:
>Source: Michael P. Wells, 1993, "Neglect of biological riches: the economics
>of nature tourism in Nepal" in biodersity and conservation, /Vol 2: 445-464.
>1. Cost of managing nature tourism in parks per year: $ 5 million
>2. Revenues raised by nature tourism in parks per yar: $ 1 million
>3. Percentage of parks budget for military supervision: 80%
>"Wah, wah, yi sab asabhya nepali bandar harulai banduk na dekhai, hami
>kahan pragati gari, sundar shanta nepal banaune"

   These are indeed very surprising facts - at least to me. They must certainly be rectified. I am not, however, aware of the aims of these parks. Revenue or conservation?
   As for security, we are protecting against all poachers - be they from Nepal, Iceland or Mars. I cannot think of any park in the world that does not have some form of security. If we take the issue of "supervision" a little further, would you argue that police forces are an affront to the integrity of all people?

>4. International development agencies finance 40% of the country's public
>sector programmes. Oh how wonderfully "indepedent" we are as a country never
>conquered, taliya taliya.

  I don't see how this relates specifically to nature tourism. This is an old and very general problem.

>5. There were 6000 tourists in 1962, 260,000 in 1988 and a projected 1
>million in 2010.

  How is this a problem in itself? I always thought that better business was a good thing. If we get as many tourists as we can handle without ecological costs, so much the better.

>6. Tourism earned $ 76 million in 1987/88 and employed 11,000 according
>Nepal rastra bank...
>Why in the world the rest of Nepal subsidize these tourism catering super
>rich, super priveleged? Ko bandar ko chatake, kehi thaha bhayen...?

  First, I am suspicious of the 11,000 figure. Even to a layman like me, it seems that if we include the bhariyas, the bus drivers, guides, "lodge" owners, etc. etc, we have got to come up with a figure higher than 11,000.
  Second, this is again a general problem of equitable distribution of wealth, not an inherent defect of nature tourism.

>7. Two thirds of the foreign exchange spend by toourist in Nepal flows
>abroad to procure luxury items to sustain these leviathan consumers.

  Is the solution making these goods in Nepal and thus generating more jobs or doing away for the demand for these goods altogether?

>8. The total number of tourist s to all national parks in 1990/91
>is 105353. Just how many are Nepalis? "Muglan ma pani bahadur darban, afnai
>desh ko jungle ma pani, bahadur ra darban bhai tiger Tops ma kuhure ko chak
>sunghnu parcha>?

  It is sad that most Nepalis do not have the economic means to enjoy the splendors of their own country. But once again, how is that the fault of tourism which actually generates at least some money for us?
  And since we are talking about Nepal, who do we expect our "darbans" to be? Venezuelans? They do have doormen in the US too, you know. Are we to presume that they do what you say the Nepali darbans do?

>...I hope this is not sanitized to something dull that does not
>represent the emotions of the uneducated nepalis.

  To sum up, no one can deny that we have a problem in distributing the benefits of tourism fairly. But that is no reason to do away with tourism - which IS, after all is said and done, our main source of foreign income. If we were not to do anything that is not done perfectly, we wouldn't be doing much in Nepal would we? Look at any other field. Would we rather that all go hungry in pursuit of a misplaced sense of equality or at least feed a few and work on feeding the rest?
  I happen to think that nature tourism is a good thing. Badly executed at the moment perhaps, but essentially a good thing. We have a gloriously beautiful country. There cannot be anything wrong with the idea of preserving and sharing that beauty AND having it provide us a livelihood!

  As a last aside, I know well and respect very much Mr.Tuladhar. Amulyaji, you cannot be pursuing graduate studies in the US and pretend to be
"uneducated"!! 8-) And the last time we talked, I thought you said that you would stop calling us "nepalese." ;-)

Enough "monkeying" around (pun intended).

Delurking terminated. Lurking mode back on. (phew!!)

(Sanjay Sthapit, Clark University)

***************************************************************************** From: Ashutosh Tiwari ( Subject: Bhool Sudhar Date: November 3, '93

At least two readers, Kanhaiya Vaidya and Shailendra Shukla, have caught my mistake regarding the singer who sang "Jyan.lai parnu pir par.yo/ Bijay pur. khola ta.ray.ra./ Sani.lai bolaun.da bol.dina".

The singer is NOT Lila Bahadur Khati, as I thought, but Saroj Gopal, would you believe it, Kanhaiya's childhood friend! Thank you for the correct info.

namaste ashu

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