Moonlit night, a nice goblet of wine and few charming women around the bonfire is the best setting to talk about nature conservation and global warming and what not to notch up own’s image of a wise man and a man who is concerned and caring. All that knowledge is poring over the wine and women, is all borrowed and fake, that’s what I have experienced over 23 years now. I have attended many such parties and pains me when I hear such statements and bragging, especially when it comes to doing something on ground, they defy their own views and statements.
Most of these people when they go on holidays to national parks, stay in resorts and camps in Rajasthan and Ladakh, the first thing they want in the evening is BONFIRE at any cost. So many brochures of resorts and camps, almost all, boast of bonfire in the evening. And sadly, it’s the selling point. I had group of 10 Indian senior IT engineers from Dubai, they felt as if they were starved of basics onboard Taurus as we didn’t give them bonfire, the moment they reached a camp at Nubra they drank and danced around bonfire as if they had no eaten food for a week. If the educated want their fun then why poor should not burn wood for his survival. It’s a shame on the educated travellers who demand bonfire as one of the main prerequisites for booking.
In my views, bonfire is for pleasure and not for necessity, therefore it can be overlooked. Yes, if we still want some pleasure then let’s consider some other alternatives and substitutes for bonfire i.e. cowdung cakes, charcoal briquettes made of coconut shells, etc.
We don’t burn charcoal produced from partly burnt wood for our barbeque sessions, else we burn cow dung cakes which also supports local poor ladies to earn some money. We also ensure its never burnt on bare ground, we use our Weber Kettle Barbeque grill, burning the ground will probably kill many insects which plays significant role to keep our ecosystem healthy for us.
WHY TO SAY ‘NO’ TO BONFIRE
Everyone is aware that our greed and habits to seek comforts always first and at any cost have lead us to over exploit our natural resources, slowly leading us to self-annihilation. Now, we are worried over the fast depleting jungles and these are disappearing at alarming speed, a matter of serious concern for the wise. Most of us are ignorant about the fact that wood is very scarce i.e. Rajasthan, Ladakh, etc. And bonfire is not at all a necessity for us, let’s leave that wood for the poor for their very basic survival.
Also, what you consider as dead-wood in the jungle, wood lying on ground, is not useless; it’s very much a significant component of recycling of ecosystem. The so called deadwood shelters small insects and micro-germs to breakdown and recycle the wood which has parted from trees etc.
We at Green Dot Expeditions have never put our own selfish interests of business before the Cause, we have lost money to push our concern about Bonfire but we have tried our best to ensure that bonfire issue is seriously taken by everyone on our camps and they go back with a new perception on the avoidable activity.
The bitter truth is that well-educated and those who have money do this just for fun and the poor who needs to survive is preached NOT to burn wood. And many resort and camp owners, especially who have been champions of NATURE CONSERVATION but when it comes to entertaining their own guests they all burn wood which is smuggled into their property in bullock-carts by poor tribals at night. And irony is that these tribals are forced to be part of ‘eco task force’ to preach villagers not to burn wood.
We don’t deny the pleasure of holiday to our guests by denying bonfire onboard Taurus – The Luxury Overland Truck. We instead enhance the pleasure by engaging them with other useful activities barbeque (double pleasure), cowdung burning, etc. And we offer them locations which are amazing and keep guests warm enough in their tents with hot water bottles and hot beverages from the kitchen.
Most pseudo champions of ‘nature conservation’ say LET ME ENJOY NOW … I WILL SHOW MY CONCERN SOME OTHER TIME for other issues…
Let’s all be concerned towards ‘nature conservation’ it doesn’t need your money, its needs your concern only.
Yes, there is one solution: if we have to burn wood then grow commercially those trees which are easy on environment i.e eucalyptus, popular, etc. And then it should be sold centrally, I mean should be regulated. But it will be a big challenge, still doable!