Prahan Chandra Ghosh is 57 years old and has served for 23 years in Assam tourism. Belonging to the Kohora village in Kaziranga, he studied a course in tourism and got placed in Guwahati, Assam. He didn’t like the city because he mentions it’s too fast and brutal for people like him. “Every farm kid, finds city life difficult,” he added.
Ghosh owns a homestay in Kohora village of Kaziranga where he and his family welcome people and give them a place to stay with some delicious homely food. The house of this homestay is as old as 70 years built by his father when he shifted from East Bangladesh to Kohora in Assam.
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He tells of Kaziranga as a place where floods and animal risk is common for the people. He has one son who helps in the management of the homestay. Ghosh’s son has also done his degree in tourism from Delhi. He didn’t want his son to stay far and suffer in the city, therefore he called him to Kaziranga and started a homestay as a business for the family.
Both father and son take care of the place like a jewel. It feels good to see the son helping his dad in the family business.
How and when did you start this homestay in Kaziranga ?
“I started my homestay in 2008 when I retired from Assam tourism. I served for 23 years of my life in the department. Due to an eye injury, I couldn’t work and so took voluntary retirement and started this homestay. During my time at work, I was sure about my post-retirement plan and just wanted to execute it. Life is pretty relaxed now and going well,” he said.
About his son and how he helps, Ghosh said, “My son Debashish helps me a lot. With his support, the business is going well. I believe in traditional things, but it’s good to take help from online business communities if they get you decent business. Right now, I’m pretty relaxed and am enjoying my time with family. My father built this house, when he migrated from East Bangladesh and we had no place to go. He reached here and started his life in Kohora. The village was really simple and was much more greener.”
Ghosh’s childhood went really well in this place and he felt privileged to be born in such a natural place. “I also helped my father in his daily life. We owned a sweet shop that time where my mother and father used to make sweets and sell it from our shop outside in the porch. That was another life for me. Now the scenario has changed a lot. I still love the struggle we had at that time which got us here,” he said.
How has tourism changed your life?
“It has not only changed my life but the whole mentality of the place. When UNESCO declared this place as a World Heritage site, there was a massive rush of tourists in the place. Both foreigners and Indians came which really supported the place to grow economically and socially. I have seen this place developing year by year and then I left the village to go for my further studies. I remember my childhood here when I used to go with my father to the market to sell sweets. That will be with me forever,” he said.
Tourism has made Ghosh think about the place and how to conserve it. “Nature is something that God has given us to sustain. I feel it’s our responsibility to protect it from destruction. I’m really happy that wildlife and plant life here is taken care of by the authorities. They are doing it in a good way. Just that natural calamities are the problem over here,” he explained.
Did you observe any climatic changes?
“Yes, I have seen a drastic change in the climate which has affected the wildlife as well as human lives here. Earlier, winter used to be more pleasant. Right now the scenario is changing. The summers are getting hotter. The winter is getting colder. The monsoon have become a danger to the place. All this is happening because of deforestation and industry setting up in the area. Many times a fight has broken between locals and the industrialists here. They don’t understand the importance of nature and just want profit in everything. I really hope people understand the importance of nature and stop destroying it,” he ended.