Homestays ‘maintain’ by women

somewhere in rural India, women go from their own house(father’s house) to their husband’s house, and if they remain alive after their partner, their son’s house. No matter their physical or economic benefaction in the household, they rarely have land rights to their own homes.

That felt different in the village Sarmoli, near Munsiari-Uttarakhand, where I spent some weeks to exploring the problems and impact of community-driven tourism. In 2004, Malika Virdi, an enthusiastic mountain climber and an inspiring soul, set up a homestay program conducted by the village women. She intentionally positioned each homestay as the home of the female family member who would work extremely hard behind the scenes and pour in love and sleepless nights to welcome travellers from around the world.

Many husbands now help the women in their homestay operations, but what pleased my heart is this: When you walk around the village and ask a local for the way to someone’s house, they know it better when you ask the woman’s name. Changing ownership mindsets slowly but gradually? I think so.