Even as some of us sit in Delhi and discuss the intricacies of ecotourism and how it’s different from tourism, there are people all over this country who are practicing the former – in the real sense of the word (‘eco’-tourism).
Mr. Yashpal Singh Negi
One such person is Mr. Yashpal Singh Negi who runs a bird watching camp christened, ‘The Mandakini Magpie Bird Watchers Camp’. The camp is located in Kakragad on the bank of River Mandakini en route to Sri Kedarnath.
Mr. Negi is a wonderful person who is not only dedicated towards his work but also has in-depth knowledge about birds and the Himalayas. He has been running this camp for the past seven years which is wonderfully exemplified by his experience and expertise.
Apart from bird watching, Mr. Negi also takes interest in collecting bird nests. He has a good collection of bird nests and also of some classic books on bird identification, wildlife and Himalayan Biodiversity. Lately, he has also started making a herbarium of those plant species in which the birds make their nest or feed.
Mr. Yashpal Singh Negi may not know the difference between Tourism and Ecotourism. He may not have even heard of ecotourism. But how he runs his bird watchers camp can be a basic case study of ‘ecotourism in the Himalayas’.
He runs his camp all himself with some help from other people of the area. The tent houses are well maintained and are very inviting with names like ‘Woodpecker Tent, Sparrow Tent, etc!
In his camp, very little of ‘transmitted’ electricity is used. He has solar lanterns which are extensively used instead of the regular electricity.
Solar Lanterns at Mr. Negi’s Camp
All in all, a visit to the Mandakini Magpie Bird Watchers Camp is a must for every bird watcher, nature lover or for anyone who wants a lesson or two in Ecotourism!
Mr. Yashpal Singh Negi can be contacted at the following number: 09412909399
P.S. High Quality Original Images can be made available on request.