Fostering Sustainable Tourism practices in India’s northeast and working and campaigning against the negative impact of tourism on local communities and their resources
Named after the Living Root Bridges of the East Khasi Hills which are one of the greatest examples of man-nature dependence, we are promoting sustainable tourism practices in India’s Northeast and the Eastern Himalayas.
The main activities of Root Bridge Foundation – a nonprofit entity – consists of research, advocacy, awareness creation, policy level interventions, training, networking, consultancy, destination development and the facilitation of better community driven tourism models.
Our projects impact some of the most disadvantaged populations, including women and indigenous communities, who not only gain access to livelihoods, but also have a chance to redefine their identity and role in society.
RBF is the Implementing Agency of the Cycle Tourism Project of Assam Tourism.
RBF aims at bringing together the best global practices and accountability and the highest standards of governance to create a model of sustainable development in the field of tourism
OUR FOCUS AREAS
Destination development & Management
Journeys & Experiences
Training & Capacity enhancement
Research & Publishing
Monitoring & Evaluation
Advocacy & Networking
Integrated Rural Development
UMSWAI VALLEY ECO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
RBF is working with Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KACC) for the development of the Umswai valley in Karbi-Meghalaya plateau. The idea is to develop the Umswai valley as an area with India’s most progressive villages through community tourism intervention and other developmental activities.
The Foundation is currently working with the villagers of Shikdamakha (popularly known as the cleanest village of Assam) and other nearby villages like Bormarjong, Amsai, Langarkhon and Maulen to develop rural tourism models to attract visitors, and generate more livelihood and economic activities.
In May 2018, the Foundation did a mass study on these villages with the participation of local youth and students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tezpur Central University and Guwahati University. More than 50 people participated in the three day residential camp.
RBF is currently networking with Government and Non-Government organisations to help the villagers to create decent home stays and toilets.
Umswai : A sleeping valley with hundreds of fascinating stories and legends
Root Bridge has started creating a network of Storytellers across Northeast India, which is a land of mesmerizing and breathtaking stories and legends. The project envisages a wide network of storytellers/ tour guides not only to create more employment for youth, but also to make the travel more authentic and experiential. The first batch of our storytellers are inmates if city orphanages.
TRAINING & CAPACITY ENHANCEMENT
Root Bridge is conducting different levels of workshops and training sessions to promote Responsible Tourism. The training module consists of different aspects of tourism, like general tourism awareness, waste management, ethnic issues, green travel and gender awareness. RBF is also giving grassroot level training providing to youth to help them find meaningful employment and enhance their capacity in a competitive environment.
RBF believe that tourism should be non- exploitative, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. This question is the center point of our work:
‘Who Really Benefits from Tourism?’
RBF provides funding to a few weavers, craftsmen and potters to make tourist friendly products. Root Bridge sells furnishing materials, like table mats, runners and other products under the brand name ‘Mirijim’ .The products are available to customers with a small story note that explains the stories and history around the product: How it is made, who made it, its story etc. This is an attempt towards cultural immersion through market intervention.
QUALITY DIGITAL CONTENT
RBF is creating high quality digital content to promote Sustainable Tourism. All the digital contents are free and are available in the public domain. Small level tourism entrepreneurs and homestay owners can use this digital content without the fear of copyright violation. The idea is to provide SMEs an opportunity to freely access digital content that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for them.
Root Bridge Lifetime Achievement Award
Shri. Tuliram Ronghang , Hon’ble Chief Executive Member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council presenting RBF Award 2018 to Smt. Sunki Amsi. Shri. Pallav Gopal Jha IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Majuli is presenting RBF Award 2017 to Shri. Bogai Ohja (Right)
Root Bridge constituted the ‘Root Bridge Lifetime Achievement Award’, to honour the unsung heroes of the region who have contributed significantly towards the life and culture of the region, be it in the field of Art, Culture, Conservation of Nature, Ecology or Society in general. Late Bogai Ohja, the Dhol exponent of Majuli and Smt. Sunki Amsi, a 90 year old weaver from the Tiwa community, have been the winners in the past. The Award consists of a cash price, a memento and a citation.
5 Reasons to travel with Root Bridge
- There is a narrative in every trip
Each trip is designed around a unique story with a passion that takes you to wonderful places and experiences.
- Amazing Story Tellers
Great story tellers will travel with you, and unveil the unending stories of the North East India.
- Truly Local
Root Bridge will take you to the soul of the villages, keeping in mind the cultural diversity of this region.
- Quality and Safety Uncompromised
- Benefit to the local Community
People behind Root Bridge Foundation
Gayatri Baruah ( Chairman & Managing Trustee)
Ajay .P (Trustee)
Munmi Baruah (Trustee)