deponti (deponti) wrote,
deponti
deponti

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The responses....

I had

written

to Club Mahindra, protesting against the offer of "50% off the charges if you don't spot a leopard on safari" at the homestay in Bera, Rajasthan.

I later sent the same protest to the Castle Bera contact id.

Here's the response I got from Aditya Jhala, who does not mention his connection with Castle Bera:




Dear Deepa,

Greetings of the Day!!

At the outset, we would like to apologize that our blog post has
caused you distress.

We appreciate that you have written to us .

As for the offer that is currently on, we are promoting Bera in Pali
Rajasthan as one of those few places that boasts of untouched
countryside. The homeowner of our homestay and his brother are the
only two people who have accommodation options and therefore have
hardly 10 guests at a time at Bera. This means that no one tramples
the land like any other natural park.
The homeowner Thakur Baljeet Singh is a 65 year old man who has lived
and grown in Bera and is a naturalist and is an important person in
the anti poaching team in Bera. With his efforts today, today Bera has
no poachers. The area is a crocodile sanctuary and almost 40 leopards
live in the village outskirts in caves in the hills. Baljeet Singh has
observed them and saved many of these animals from poachers and has
even educated villagers to not harm the animals who come into the
village many a times to attach livestock.
The safaris happen in the morning at around 6 am and in the evening at
around 6 pm for 2 hours each only when guests are around. Mr. Baljeet
Singh personally drives the jeeps and has the trackers who are also
local villagers, born and brought up in Bera. These trackers have
lived seeing these animals all their life. With the combined effort of
Baljeet Singh and these trackers, the guests have a great chance of
sighting. In all these years all of his guests have had the pleasure
of spotting these wonderful creatures in their natural habitats. This
is the only reason we offer all our guests today the pleasure of a
wonderful experience of the home as well as the great outdoors. It is
as you say a matter of luck to spot these animals, and the
probabilities at Bera are high. If the guests do not spot a leopard,
the risk is on the homeowner to incur the loss and offer a cashback to
the guests. One has not caged any animal to ensure sighting.
The safaris are conducted in prescribed timings and with permissions
from forest officials (although this is not a reserve or a sanctuary)
and the sightings are done from a distance using binoculars. There is
no illegal activity such as capturing the animal or baiting it. We do
not allow guest to get out of the jeeps, or make noise or disturb the
animal. The Jeeps are kept at a safe distance, and driven carefully
through the jungle trails. All safety is taken to keep the sanctity of
this great place. This is exactly the reason why Bera can boast of
healthy sightings. The leopards haven't been harmed and don't feel
threatened. They roam freely in their territories while the humans
keep out of it.

Jawai Bandh is also a crocodile sanctuary and rightly so. All the
villagers and the homestay owner here have only helped keep this area
the way it is. They will be the last people to destroy or cause harm.

We hope we have appeased your concerns and we invite you to take a
trip for yourselves if you have any concerns on the safety and
conservation of wildlife.


Do write back to us if you have any concerns that we can help you with.

Thank you.

Regards,

Aditya Sinh Jhala
99009935568

.............

My NTP friend Vikram Hiresavi had also emailed Vivek Prabhakar, Corporate Manager, Mahindra Homestays. Here is his response:



Thank you for your mail.



We have been contacted by a couple of people concerned about animal welfare and the type of safaris this package includes. We are promoting Bera in Pali Rajasthan as one of those few places that boasts of untouched countryside. The homeowner Thakur Baljeet Singh is a 65 year old man who has lived and grown in Bera and is a naturalist and is an important person in the anti poaching team in Bera. With his efforts today Bera has no poachers. Baljeet Singh has observed the leopards and saved many of these animals from poachers and has even educated villagers to not harm the animals who come into the village many a time to attach livestock.



The safaris happen in the morning at around 6am and in the evening at around 6pm for two hours each only when guests are around.Mr.Baljeet Singh personally drives the jeeps and has trackers who are also village locals, born and brought up in Bera. These trackers have lived seeing these animals all their life. With the combined effort of Baljeet Singh and these trackers, the guests have a great chance of sighting the great cat in their natural habitat. We offer all our guests today the pleasure of wonderful experience of the home as well of the outdoors. It is as you say a matter of luck to spot these animals, and these probabilities at Bera are high. If the guests do not spot a leopard the risk is on the homeowner to incur the loss and offer a cash back to the guests.



The safaris are conducted in the prescribed timings and with permissions from forest officials(although this is not a reserve or a sanctuary) and the sightings are done from distance using binoculars. There is no illegal activity as capturing the animal or baiting it. We do not allow the guests to get out of the jeeps, or make noise or disturb the animal. The jeeps are kept at a safe distance and driven carefully through the jungle trail. All safety is taken to keep the sanctity of this great place. This is exactly the reason why Bera can boast of healthy sightings. The leopards haven’t been harmed and don’t feel threatened. They roam freely in their territories while the humans keep out of it.



Kind Regards

Vivek Prabhakar
Corporate Manager - Mahindra Homestays
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited
Mahindra Towers, Patullos Road.
Chennai - 600002.
Phone - +91-44-3028 2188, 9500049943
Fax - +91-44-3027 7778




What sort of a coincidence would I call that? I'd say, they have a form letter being sent out to any one who writes in, with additions or deletions.

Something is rotten in the state of Rajasthan.....
Tags: bad practices, difficulties, tourism, wildlife
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