HimVani recently wrote an email to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh suggesting a few tips to promote tourism in the state. Following is our letter, followed by the reply from his office. As of date, we haven’t received any mail from The Secretary, Tourism. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they develop some programme. Here’s the Email and the response.
We are a group of young people running a website called HimVani (www.himvani.com). We intend to be a think-tank for Himachal and work for its progress.
However, coming to the point, a couple of months ago, we had run an article, “Entrepreneurship: Do Himachalis lack self-confidence?“. Thereby, just as an example, we raised an issue, why on the Kalka – Shimla Highway, except for Gianai Da Dhaba at Dharampur, all road-side dhabas are dirty and why Gianai Da Dhaba gets most of the tourists? Simple because, of the entrpreneurship skills of Punjabis. Meanwhile, all dhabas owned by Himachalis are only visited by drivers and are unclean. Do we lack entrepreneurship skills? Even in the entire Himachal region, the condition of the dhabas is the same.
What prompted me to write to you is a comment left recently by a reader that while our ideas were well placed, who’s going to tell the dhabawallas to clean up their dhabas and maintain a hygencic situation that tourists and travellers visit them as well. Because these dhabawallas won’t visit the Internet, read our article and change themselves.
Sir, I’d like to request you to ask the Tourism department to provide training to these dhabawallas as well and tell them the importance of cleanliness. This way, not only will tourism will get a boost but their employment and income too would go up. While the government is providing training in villages to promote Village Tourism, a similar kind of training could be provided to these Dhaba Wallas as well. Also, it could be influenced upon them that they give priority to Himachali cuisine, as no dhabawallas (they prepare Punjabi dishes) prepare Himachali dishes. There are many a tourists who would like to dig their fingers into Himachali dishes. (Though Himachali dishes are available in some of the HPTDC restaurants but they are far and remote). We need to promote what we have. We need to showcase our own identity.
As we are a team of young Himachali people (though mostly situated out of the state), if there is any way we can be of any help in the initiative, please do let us know. We are proud that today Himachal is number one as far as development and education is concerned. But there are a few glitches like these which can be avoided.
Looking forward, for your reply and initiative.
And the CM’s office replied:
This office appreciates your concern for the State. Your suggestions have been forwarded to the Secretary, Tourism for consideration. The officer will be intimating you about the action taken thereon.