Jharkhand ropes in IHM to train rural youth as tourist guides
Visitors coming to tourist hotspots in Jharkhand can soon feel safe and comfortable with trained tourist guides.
State tourism department has entered into an understanding with the Institute of Hotel Management, Hajipur, run under the aegis of the tourism ministry and Bihar tourism department, for the latter to train tourist guides.
“We reached an understanding on this with The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Hajipur, a premier institution, earlier this month,” state tourism joint director Rajiv Ranjan told this paper on Saturday.
“In the first batch, we will select 40 candidates for the 60-day training. We prefer rural youths close to tourism sites. They have to submit a recommendation from their respective DCs that they belong to a panchayat, along with an application to the state tourism department. The course will start from May. Complete training cost will be borne by the government,” he said.
All trainees would get certificates as tourist training guides, he added. “The course will go on in batches and we plan to get a good number of trained tourist guides for prominent eco-tourism, religious tourism, heritage and rural tourism sites in the coming months,” Ranjan said. “Candidates must be aged 18 and above and must have completed intermediate. The last date for submission of application forms is February 15.”
A reliable source in the tourism department said this move had been taken to instil confidence among visitors.
“As of now, we have around 100-odd paryatak mitras (literally tourist’s friend), deployed at water falls near Ranchi and outskirts. They are rural youths who lack formal training in dealing with visitors. Trained tourist guides will make tourist spots appealing to visitors by sharing information on the culture and heritage of the site concerned. They will have pleasant manners and English and Hindi speaking skills. We will hire them on contractual basis and give them identity cards,” said a senior official in Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC).
He added trained tourist guides would be deployed at eco-tourism spots like Netarhat, Betla, Dimna, religious tourism sites such as Parasnath, heritage tourism spots such as Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s house in Ghatshila, megaliths of Hazaribagh, and rural tourism sites such as Amadubi (Ghatshila) and McCluskieganj (Ranchi). “We are hoping this would have a two-fold impact, increase job opportunities for rural youths and tourist footfall in the coming years.”