Giving Back to Society

Holiday Scout – An Overview

Started by Sange Tsering, a young and dynamic entrepreneur, Holiday Scout is not just another travel agency. At Holiday Scout we celebrate North East India and endeavor to bring all that we love about North East India closer to travelers from around the world.

At Holiday Scout we understand the intrinsic role that language plays in transmitting the essence of culture. So when we travel off the beaten path to visit tribal villages, we engage local guides who have grown up listening to the tales and songs of their elders. Behind every feast, dance, costume and ceremony lies a story waiting to be translated and told by these gifted memory keepers.

Holiday Scout has also started Dirang Boutique Cottages, an effort to bring world-class hospitality experience in the region. Nestled amongst the picturesque hills of Dirang Valley, the cottages offer an experience to the travelers that is unparalleled in the region. Managed by Sange Tsering himself, Dirang Boutique Cottages and Holiday Scout, have adopted a self-regulating business model that helps the organisation to be socially accountable—to itself and the public. By practicing this model of social responsibility we remain conscious of the kind of impact we are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.

Giving back to the Society

Holiday Scout has always strived to develop a responsible tourism model that focuses on the preservation of cultural traditions and also turns the natives into economic stakeholders. It involves, trains, remunerates and thereby ultimately motivates villagers to become rooted entrepreneurs who can promote their own culture and to preserve their sense of tribal identity, pride and spirit.

The founder Sange Tsering believes in the old adage that we must pass onto society the benefits of our successes. It is due to his ideals that Holiday Scout and its sister concern Dirang Boutique Cottages have become successful social experiments and not mere profit-seeking businesses. We owe this success to the immense contribution of the society and the people towards making travel such an amazing experience. This paper aims to shed a light at the various programmes we have initiated and have undertaken through which we aim to give the society a headstart in becoming self-reliant. Some of these are very close to our heart and in fact, Sange has been involved in such endeavors long before the organisation came into being.

Following these ideals, Holiday Scout also remained active during the lockdown caused by the COVID pandemic. In collaboration with District Police Department, West Kameng district Arunachal Pradesh, we reached out to needy people who live along the periphery of Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary and provided the 20 odd families with essential commodities like rice, pulses, sugar, biscuits and cooking oil, so that no one goes hungry during this difficult situation. Sange Tsering, Arjun Sonar and Lobsang Tsering of Holiday Scout were accompanied by a team of District police personnel comprising Tashi Monpa(SI), R. W. Kharma and Pema Khandu during this process.

Education of Girls

Holiday Scout believes that women are the pillars on which the society rests. An educated girl strengthens the society like none other. Unfortunately, in remote regions, education of girl child is not given much importance. Sange, along with his entire family, is trying and succeeding at changing that.

He himself has adopted two young girls as his sister 11 years ago, namely Karmu and Rinchin. Little Yangzom joined this family 3 years back and 2020 saw the arrival of Pinku. They all come from remote villages where education of the girl child is the last thing to cross the minds of the parents.

Sange and his mother are taking full responsibility of not just their education but their overall growth and well being as well. The 4 girls are being provided the best of education and are doing great in their studies. A bright future awaits them.

He takes immense pride in being a part of their growth story. They are an indispensable part of the family and have now taken unto themselves many responsibilities to help other children.

Infrastructure Development of Schools

Arunachal Pradesh is situated in a remote corner of the country. Infrastructure development is just starting to take pace. The remote corners of this remote region have yet to see the vehicle of development arrive at their doorsteps. One victim of this has been the educational institutions. The schools are often in dilapidated conditions. There is a lack of interest in making these schools the temple of education as a school should be able to have a positive impact on the minds of young children. The school should provide an ambience that would inculcate in The young minds a desire to get educated.

It is towards this end, Holiday Scout started an initiative – Paint a School, under which we painted an entire school with our own funds and with the help of a few sponsors from all over India, and made the school a fun place to be at. We selected the government run school at the far-flung village of Chug. We completely renovated the school with a fresh coat of paint, repairing the ceiling and the walls. As a finishing touch, we decorated the school walls with murals of popular cartoons that the kids love.

As part of this initiative, people from across the country joined us voluntarily and came to the village to give their bit to this noble initiative. We are always in search of more schools to renovate and redecorate under this initiative.

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Taking Care of the Elderly

What we are today is because of the way we were brought up by our elders. We dedicate our growth to our elders who have always shown us the right path. At Holiday Scout, we acknowledge this and have made it our vision to help the elderly at every step of their lives to the best of our capability.

We have made it our mission to donate to the many old age homes to make life a little easier for the elderly who call it their home. We have been providing the old age homes with rations and other items such as heaters, blankets, etc so that the elderly would not be left in a lurch.

Sometimes, children abandon their old parents. There is nothing in the world that is more heartbreaking than this. Therefore, we have taken upon ourselves this task to take care of these abandoned elderly people who deserve a life in this stage of their life which they gave to their children when they were young.

(In the course of our ongoing tour, founder of Holiday Scout - Sange can be seen donating room heaters to the monks of the Old Age home in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. When we had visited the old age home to distribute winter clothing to the residents in January, we enquired what else we can do to help them and they unequivocally said that they need room heaters to beat the winter chill)

Training Local Workforce

We are forever working towards making tourism an all inclusive industry. We want them to reap the benefits of the changes brought about by tourism in the state. We want them to be involved at every level of travel industry.

We have been training the local youth to become successful in this industry. We train them to be guides the travelers can bank upon. The guides are the backbone of the travel industry as they are the connecting link between the travelers and the place they travel. It is important that they are well versed in the history, geography, culture and language of the region. Who better than the locals?

The local youth, determined but inexperienced, can become the flag bearers of tourism in the state. That is why we are grooming as many of them as our resources permit to be able and good guides who the travelers can trust their holidays with. We have successfully groomed a number of such local guides who have now made a name for themselves.

Culinary Classes

Holiday Scout, along with grooming travel guides, have also been actively giving culinary classes to the villagers and locals of the state. Under this initiative, we teach them about basic kitchen hygiene. Food is often one of the experiences travelers look forward to. The state with its numerous tribes and sub-tribes are a heaven to any foodie.

Giving culinary classes to the locals serves the dual purpose of involving them in the travel industry as well as providing to them a tool to generate sustainable income for themselves. The classes are also provided to the tourists who get a first hand experience of cooking the local cuisines.

As part of this initiative, we have taken under our aegis a number of households to whom we have given training about hosting such classes for tourists. The tourists who visit their home are taught the basic cooking techniques which they can emulate in their kitchen once they are back to their home.

The interaction between the locals and the tourists under this initiative help foster bonds which last a lifetime and also provide a source of livelihood to the locals.

Culinary trail video

HUMANITARIAN WORK DURING THE GLOBAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The spring of 2020 brought the entire world into a standstill. Nation after nation went into total lockdown. India was no exception. March 2020 saw our country go into a complete lockdown. The unparalleled circumstances which forced a nation of 1.3 billion into lockdown spared no one, but the worst hit were the daily wage earners whose source of livelihood was snatched away in a moment. Arunachal Pradesh along with the rest of the country went into lockdown. Travel restrictions were imposed.

The travel industry was one of the worst hit in the country and Holiday Scout was no exception. But at Holiday Scout, we forged ahead with our initiatives to help the needy. We took on ourselves the responsibility of providing relief and essential commodities, which went scarce, to those who needed it the most. Holiday Scout, with the partnership of the District Police under Mr. Raja Banthia, SP West Kameng District.

The relief consisted of rice, pulses, sugar, salt, biscuits and cooking oil.

In addition to this, we also reached out to the frontline warriors to show our support wnd appreciation to them who were, and who are, tirelessly fighting the menace of the ongoing global pandemic. We provided refreshments to the medical staff and police personnel.

Holiday Scout will always work towards contributing to society no matter how difficult the circumstances become.

Conclusion

Holiday Scout is striving to go beyond the conventional travel business and establish itself as the pioneer of a socially aware and responsible model. Hopefully these initiatives will not only offer an immersive experience to the tourists but also have a positive impact on the lives of the locals.