Sloth bear beckons, 3 hours away
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Many wildlife spots for Amdavadis lie unexplored
Ahmedabad: According to an estimate, over 80 per cent of Amdavadis who prefer nature tourism would rather go to Gir in Junagadh district than Jessore sloth bear sanctuary in Banaskantha district.
Camp organisers say camps for Gir are usually fully booked. Madhu Menon of Anala Camps, says, "Eighty per cent of the people from Ahmedabad prefer going to Gir sanctuary." The reason is that there is lack of public awareness about wildlife. For the people of Ahmedabad, wildlife means just big cats like lions or to some extent, the wild ass. Menon says there is an immediate need to change the concept. He says that there is hardly any infrastructure in place at sanctuaries other then Gir. "People visit Nal Sarovar only because of its proximity."
Manisha Rajput of Aruvi Foundation says, "We had simultaneous camps in Gir and Jessore. While Gir was booked in just a couple of days, there were hardly any takers for Jessore." Rajput says that Gir is more famous and people aware of the Asiatic lion while there's not much awareness about other sanctuaries.
Gulabsinh Jethwa of Sundarvan says,"Gir sanctuary has been in the news and is also being widely publicised by state tourism department but there's little awareness about other sanctuaries." Also, there is better road connectivity to Gir as also better infrastructure,which other sanctuaries usually lack.
Tourism officials say that Amdavadis prefer going to places where the infrastructure is good.Accommodation facilities at other sanctuaries are limited.