In the pristine statehood of Odisha, generations have grown lamenting on the lack of growth despite the presence of immeasurable natural resources. As the world has witnessed sweeping changes due to the growth of eco-tourism at less developed natural places, the scenic ‘Koraput’ district of Odisha has grown through a complete transformation by the initiatives of a single person.
Hailing from the sacred place of Puri, the man with a wonderful vision and pioneering ideas- Yugabrata Kar- has set a precedent in the history of the state by remarkably turning the place into an impressive milieu, showcasing eco-tourism.
A topper in Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Course, Yugabrata began his professional career with a reputed agricultural company as a Sales Engineer that brought him the opportunity to view the indescribable virginity of the natural places in the Koraput district. Viewing the local culture getting polluted with the ongoing influence from mobile phones and television, he decided to take up the gauntlet of re-establishing eco-tourism and improve the means for livelihood of the local residents. As the youth at the place were getting lured by the modern professions, giving up their traditional means of livelihood, Yugabrata decided to give up his job and set up responsible tourism at the place. He even toured 26 nations in the world to learn about things in eco-tourism.
With the steps in nature-inspired eco-tourism, the maverick has literally made the place go through a complete makeover. As the vast forest of the district almost constitute more than 20 percent of the total forest areas in the country, his ‘Desia’ scheme has literally opened plethora of avenues for growth for the local people. As this opened the lost avenues of ancient and traditional arts, the tribal people had ample opportunities to sell their handicraft items. His initiatives have saved the cottage industries from complete extinction as the tourists now flock in large number to the place to watch the natural splendor and buy the beautiful traditional handicraft items. As the cultural heritage of the place has fascinated people from all-over the world in the last decades, Yugabrata has succeeded with his plans for employment of the local people and trained them in jewelry-making and art camp, which have substantially helped the tribal women in developing their skills in making traditional handicraft items.
As the first pioneer in this field, Yugabrata donates part of his revenues for the education, environment, and empowerment of the unprivileged local people in the backwater of the state. Creating employment with his initiatives for more than 40 people, he now plans to add a travel lounge, which would help the tourists to relax, write, and listen to tribal music, while trying their hands in learning the making of handicraft items.