Madhya Pradesh Tourism is very heart of India and considered to be very safe tourism sector for all kind of travellers. If we go by the changing trend of last 10 years in tourism industry, we will notice that some new section of tourists have emerged. Earlier we have noticed that most of the tourists are small families or group of friends, group of photographers which means either family members or mid-size groups were travelling but individual visitors were very less, except foreigner tourists. With the change in ideology of individuality idea, now we are noticing growth in single or double friends, undertaking tours and among them mostly are from young generation, from working class who go for tours to get a change from routine job. In this category, we have seen 2-3 female friends, undertaking tours. This is positive sign towards women empowerment & freedom in India. Considering it a new sectoion of tourism, Madhya Pradesh state government has paid due attention towards development of an eco-system where more and more women visitors come to Madhya Pradesh and enjoy its tourism & travel services.
Madhya Pradesh government is working out on policy to address growing market of women visitors. Under this policy, stress was given to develop better security arrangements so that women visitors will feel safe while visiting various tourist destinations. At various tourist interface points, now more women candidates will be hired so that women tourists will feel more comfort while talking to a another women. This will result in to better & more open level of communication. This change will be experience at various levels like you will find more women in field of tourists guides, hotels staff, autorickshaw drivers, ticketing staff, naturalists in jungles etc. About 5000 women candidates are likely to be hired towards development of woemn friendly eco-system. For this state government has sufficient fund, derived through Nirbhaya Scheme of Central Government. It is now time to utilize this fund for its actual cause. State government will get technical support from United Nation entity for gender equality and empowerment of women. Further to this, Managing Director for MP State Tourism Board has informed that they have plan to trained 40000 women for self-defence, 10000 women for skill developnent. They have plan to hire 5000 women for different tourist interface jobs to improve they work share in MPSTDC. This plan will be executed soon and thus in coming years, we will definitely notice this change. All these efforts will ultimately increase women tourism in Madhya Pradesh.
At present we may find women employees in some of the tourism sectors. If you will visit national parks of Madhya Pradesh, you will find women in forest department counters to addressing safari tickets issues of visitors. Similary during jungle safari drives, we will find women safari guides, helping tourists to explain all sort of information about their national parks. Even in Madhya Pradesh police, we will find healthy composition of women police officers and still their is scope for further imporvement. Regarding safari guides at various pilgrimage and heritage tourism destinations, their presence is very low so these are the prominent areas for improvement. We can rarely find women tourist guides in heritage tourist sites like Khajuraho, Orchha, Gwalior, Chanderi etc. Similarly while visiting pilgrimage sector of Indore, we will not find women tourist guides. Even if we visit MPSTDC hotels in various destinations, we will notice that presence of women employee is very low so these are the areas where we expect revolutionary changes.
This plan seems to be a positive step towards women empowerment. Their is no shortage of any fund but the problem is lack of will-power which is reflected in results of such plan. Funds gets utilized but often quality result doesn't comes due to corruption and lack of will-power. Sometimes such announcements gets dumped into some file, under the table of some minister and later governent gets changes and that government again start from scratch, change the name of plan and same cycle is followed. If somebody is really interested, they can get the desired result. Madhya Pradesh Forest Department has done good job in this part. Without any high level announcement or media attraction, they provided guide training to many local women and enrolled them for service of tourist safari guide. Their efforts are really appreciable. We hope plan will execute as per announcement and we may find positive result in coming days.