Developing Siliguri

Raj Basu runs the famous Help Tourism in Siliguri. ( www.helptourism.com) They have revolutionized ecotravel in the North East and West Bengal by building up a network of local participants who make it possible for travelers to have a unique experience which make use of local resources and home stays and have enabled communities to participate in the profits from tourism.This approach, which is now fairly well known, was pioneered by his group in North Bengal and he has now built up a network of destinations where the local participants are motivated to preserve their natural resources because they profit from it.
I first met him In Siliguri when I was organizing secretary of the ASI conference held there in 2008. His company was our travel partner. At that time he had shocked me by casually mentioning that it was unlikely that any doctors would book through the conference secretariat because most doctors are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. He turned out to be absolutely correct. The rot of bribery has penetrated so deep that the lowliest House Surgeon does not travel without sponsorships, despite the fact that these are illegal and actionable by the MCI ( in theory). Also this incident was instructive because it revealed to me that the general public is well aware that doctors not only get illegal cuts from investigational facilities, but that even their holidays are nowadays sponsored! Sooner or later, the payment for these shenanigans will fall due.
However I digress. Raj and I have kept up contact even after I came to Kuala Lumpur , thanks to Linked In. He sends me news of various festivals and tourism related news which is always interesting and heartening. He is also always interested in the development of Siliguri and North Bengal and this is another interest that we share. I have sometimes discussed these issues in this blog. This led me to propose to him that we try to dream up a plan for the development of Siliguri. He was enthusiastic and we have put up a small document available in http://ethnicitysiliguri.blogspot.com/2010/11/with-hope-from-malaysia.html
It is ambitious and may even seem risible to many in its scale and ambition. However I am a firm believer that “Impossible is Nothing” and that it is possible to develop Siliguri to great heights because it has several incomparable advantages. I may post the document later in my blog, but for the moment please access it at the above mentioned site.I would be glad of any comments.

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Unknown said…
Raj Basu runs the famous Help Tourism in Siliguri. ( www.helptourism.com) They have revolutionized ecotravel in the North East and West Bengal by building up a network of local participants who make it possible for travelers to have a unique experience which make use of local resources and home stays and have enabled communities to participate in the profits from tourism.You can book Online Bus Ticket also.

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