A Constructive Step: Supporting a Skill Training Program in India

My Odyssey Tours recently worked with the Hope Project in India to help fund a program that teaches local youth the skills they need to work as tour guides. This was part of our 2017 CSR commitment to help local communities in the places we visit.

Founded in 1980, The India Hope Project provides schooling, health care, and training programs to people living in the Muslim Basti (slum) of Nizamuddin in Delhi. As an established, non-governmental local organization, it understands the deeper issues in the Basti community and strives to help people there realize their hidden potential and determine their own future - that's why Odyssey chose to work with it.

The Shan-e-Nizam Basti Walk Training Program successfully started on September 10, 2017. Mr. Sudhir Dwivedi, who is an experienced trainer, was chosen to teach English to a few young people from Basti so that they could lead the Shan-e-Nizami Basti Walk, which is a welfare tour program put on by Hope Project. The training was mainly about the basic concepts of tourism, eco-tourism, and tour guiding, as well as the history and culture of the Basti community. It also included a few field visits during which trainees could put their knowledge into practice. It finally concluded on October 14, 2017, and we heard the news that a total of 7 community boys had graduated from the training, and 2 of them had already worked as tour guides (others are pursuing senior secondary level examinations or undergraduate programs).

Basti Youth Attending the Training Course Sponsored by My Odyssey Tours.Basti Youth Attending the Training Course Sponsored by My Odyssey Tours.

"The training was a good learning experience for me. I gained confidence through this program. The teacher supported me in overcoming my weaknesses. My weakness was my lack of confidence. I have a confident personality right now. Thanks to the program. " This is the feedback from Salman Sheikh, a 20-year-old youth participating in the training program.

Faiz Alam, a 17-year-old boy, gave his comments on the training course as follows: "It was a great experience for me. It also raised my confidence level. Through this program, I got an opportunity to learn about my own community and improve my skills. I am very thankful to Hope Project and the donor (My Odyssey Tours) and my beloved Sudhir Sir who taught us many things. "

The trainer, Mr. Sudhir Dwivedi (on the far left), was teaching on a field trip.The trainer, Mr. Sudhir Dwivedi (on the far left), was teaching on a field trip.

What a delightful thing to receive the feedback and learn that the good deed has actually benefited the local youths! As a way of practicing responsible travel, Odyssey has done a lot of work, including helping with the construction of pump wells in Cambodia and bringing supplies to schools in Bhutan and Myanmar, but for the first time, it has supported a skill training program together with a local organization. It is indeed a constructive step. After all, what better way to help people in poverty than by providing them with resources and opportunities so that they can realize their hidden potential and help themselves?

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The old proverb also holds true when it comes to "responsible travel". CSR is not all about donations and giving out money. It can be something more constructive.

In the coming years, Odyssey will go further to fulfill its commitment to being a responsible tour operator and, in the meantime deliver the best possible travel experience to guests. Stay tuned to hear more about our & CSR stories or contact us to & customize a responsible trip around your interest.

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