The concept of Homestay is getting popular day by day. At remote places of Himachal and Uttarakhand this concept has proved really beneficial for the locals. At a time when climate change and floods are affecting the traditional practices of income in remote areas ideas like Homestay will provide an alternate source of income to many people.
Ladakh is facing a lot of issues since last decade. Problems of climate change, flash floods melting glaciers and man animal conflict has increased the troubles of the nation living here. This has resulted in Migration of youth to other cities.
How Homestay Program Helps
Ladakh is a very ecologically sensitive area. Rcologically fragile zones are not ideal for luxury Hotels and camps. Homestays use local methods without harming the ecology around them.
This proves beneficial for environment and at the same time it promotes the local youth to learn new skills.
Local Food Preserves the Soil
At a place like Ladakh you cannot really expect exotic food. Hotels have to source food that is not grown in Ladakh and it costs them a lot. Many are trying to grow food in the native regions and eventually it will ruin the texture of soil in the region.
Homestays have a USP of everything local. The food you eat at homestays is locally sourced and grown. It is profitable for them because it is present in the region for ages now. The more homestays promote local food in Ladakh, the better will be the local ecology for a longer period of time.
Contribute in Water Preservation
Ladakh has water scarcity. This dry desert doesn’t have a lot of water left so demanding running water from hotels is really unnecessary. Despite this, 100s of hotels in Leh city use ground water for guests. This is an issue that needs to be solved.
Home stays in Ladakh don’t use ground water. They have dry toilets and running streams for other purposes. When you stay at a local home in Ladakh, you ensure that the local ground water will not be affected for years to come.
The agencies running home stay program in Ladakh need volunteers. If you are one of those travelers who need to learn about local life and culture then volunteering with them will be a great idea. It is the best source to find insights about life in Ladakh from a different perspective.
Prevent Man Animal conflict
With climate change, the grass from the upper Himalayas has melted. This has led to the herbivores coming closer to villages. Because of this, predators like Snow Leopards and Wolves are having difficulty in finding food and they are also coming closer to human settlements, hunting livestock in process. These incidents increase man animal conflict in the mountains which is not a good sign.
With homestay programs, villagers find alternate source of income and move away from livestock rearing and farming. This reduces man animal conflict in sensitive hilly areas ensuring that food chain will not be affected.
Help fund These Organizations
Organizations that are supporting homestay programs in Ladakh are also involved in a number of other campaigns. They run schools, conduct awareness campaigns, cleanup waste and track animal movement. When you book a homestay, you help fund these groups and their works keep on going. With hotels in Ladakh, you will not be contributing towards the local community. Something like this is only possible with a homestay.