SRINAGAR, Aug 13: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today launched 75 Home-Stays in rural areas to commemorate the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in the 75th year of Independence, at a program organized at SKICC.
These Home-Stays are owned by SHG members of Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) in partnership with OYO Group under project ‘Crown of Incredible India’
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the country’s leading travel tech company OYO Group in collaboration with JKRLM would build 200 more home stays by December 2022 to boost rural livelihood in Jammu Kashmir.
The Lt Governor observed that in a short span of time, Self Help Groups have emerged as a powerful tool for women empowerment and socio-economic transformation in Jammu Kashmir.
Under the banner of UMEED programme, JKRLM is empowering the rural women entrepreneurs. The Mission is also providing national market to the local products. The launch of 75 home stays with OYO Hotels & Homes will prove to be a milestone in the pursuit of social equality, social justice and social security, he added.
The partnership with OYO and the launch of Tourist Village Network, in which Mission Youth has selected 75 such villages under both the Jammu, and Kashmir divisions, known for their unique landscape, cultural diversity and heritage value will go a long way in expanding the tourism ecosystem to rural areas of UT, he added.
It was informed that the affordable tariffs offered by the OYO home stays will cater to a better and immersive traveling experience. The home stays have all the basic room amenities, great views, and provide an opportunity for travelers to experience beautiful rural landscapes and nature in its truest form.
Identified on the parameters of scenic beauty, landscape, cultural diversity and heritage, the 75 new home stays are located at Udhampur, Poonch, Doda, Kathua and Kishtwar districts of Jammu and Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora and Srinagar districts of Kashmir valley.
Pertinently, Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission recently organized a workshop for home stay owners in Srinagar on August 1 and 2, 2022. A similar workshop is going to be held in Jammu on August 16 and 17, 2022 for home stay owners.
OYO has partnered with Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) to offer end-to-end solutions that would transcend beyond just listing of home stays on its platform. It includes identification of the homes, their audit, transformation and civil work, transfer of technology, training of homestay owners, branding and marketing etc., it was informed.
Commenting on the developments, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO, said “We are honoured to be a part of the “Crown of Incredible India” project which was inaugurated by the Lt Governor in February of this year. These homestays are a testimony to the vision of our Prime Minister and the Lt Governor to widen and deepen the prospects for tourism in the country, provide sustainable livelihood to the rural community and also empower women. OYO is committed to play a meaningful role in strengthening the tourism potential in J&K with an innovative and collaborative approach”.
Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary to the Government, Tribal Affairs Department, and CEO Mission Youth, said that the Government with its various schemes and programmes are reaching out to youth and women to realize the vision of inclusive development. He informed that J&K Government with OYO group has established 280 home-stays in the UT.
Nuzhat Ishfaq, DDC Chairperson, Ganderbal; Aftab Malik, DDC Chairperson Srinagar, Ankit Gupta, CEO, OYO India and Siddhartha Dasgupta, President, Corporate Affairs, OYO attended the launching ceremony.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; R K Goyal, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department; Mandeep Kaur, Commissioner/Secretary; Dr Raghav Langer, Secretary Planning Department; Dr. Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests; Indu Kanwal Chib, Mission Director, JKRLM; Deputy Commissioners; PRI members; HoDs, senior officials, members of SHG groups were present on the occasion, in person and through virtual mode.