National Parks should not be a wedding and convention destination. Why?
There are numerous joyous occasions in one’s life. From weddings to corporate success, everything is celebrated with pomp and delight. While such celebrations are regular in city hotels including traditional palaces and boutique resorts, there are a few places where merrymaking must be left behind, and the purity of nature be drawn in naturally – i.e., National Parks and Tiger Reserves in India.
Most national parks in India have located just a few hours’ drive from big cities, and this attracts all kinds of populous with varying agendas. Some might stick to actual wildlife viewing, while plenty of others tend to indulge in celebrating with loud music and revelries. The consequences of such celebrations are borne by the wildlife surrounding the resort. There is an overdose of noise pollution amidst the unobtrusive setting of nightjars and crickets, which leads to disturbing the overall sanctity of the jungle.
Just like we don’t like somebody coming over and banging loud music in our home in the middle of the night, why should the animals and the forest they call home, be any exception?! It is only wise to keep the humdrum of our daily partying as far away as possible from the divinity of nature. It blesses us with an abundance of resources and sacredly ties together the bond of man and wildlife trying to peacefully co-exist. Respecting this connection and the fact that forests are actually giving us more than we are to it, it is only our duty as the primary resource seeker, to step back, let the jungle breathe, and take our commotion elsewhere.
Few rules that can be implemented by the local resorts to keep a check and avoid such negligent events:
- Strict adherence with a no-party/wedding and loud music policy beyond 9 pm. This must be informed to the guest at the time of booking itself.
- Not entertaining any last-minute gala dinners/bonfires under the pressure of guests who wish to stay up late and party all night. Quaint bush dinners under the star-lit sky are preferred.
- In reference to the above, the kitchen should close at 9 pm at the most to avoid late-night food orders. Only in cases of emergency should the help desk entertain any favors.
- No Bluetooth speakers must be allowed within the room.
- Guests should not be allowed to carry their own liquor bottles in their baggage.
- No roaming about the property late at night. It is a jungle and one must be fully aware of their surroundings. Ideally, it is wise to not step out post-sunset.
Guidance for guests going to the wildlife reserves to celebrate:
- Follow strict time guidelines set by the resorts.
- Do not wander out on your own at night outside the resort premises on foot, it is not safe. Predators like, tigers, and leopards prefer the shade of the night to hunt.
- The senses of all predators are almost 10 times sharper than humans. Animals that depend on their senses for survival have the ability of exceptional hearing, sight, and smell. They sense your presence in their territory much before you realize it. In almost all cases they leave the area when they sense the human presence, but what if one odd time they don’t. For sheer negligence of humans if there is any man-animal conflict, not only does man tend to get hurt fatally, but the animal also is picked up and put in a zoo for no fault of his. You may now imagine what loud sound/noise does to them when you celebrate in their homes.
- For the above-heightened senses of predators, it is important to keep the music down, as what is normal to our ears is blaring sound/noise to them.
- Listen to nature more, it is music, animals are not keen to listen to human sounds and noises.
- Avoid flashing powerful torches in bushes outside the resorts, this light pollution also comes in way of predators hunting.
- If you wish to be out at night, it is better to visit some national parks which arrange tiger safaris in night, e.g. Pench, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, and Satpura. You will experience nightlife in a Jungle but in the safety of a vehicle. Your safety is animal safety also. The Forest Department arranges these night safaris.
National Parks are only 4% of our total land mass in India, so we have 96% of the area away from national parks to celebrate.
Last but not the least, all denizens of the jungle including, predators, prey animals, birds, reptiles, insects, and trees, have daily chores to accomplish like looking for food, protecting their young ones, and territory protection. Let us not disturb them while they are busy fending for survival in a dense dark jungle.
We have started to invade their homes, jungles are being cut in name of development, we are taking away much from them, and they don’t say a word, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t disturb them. The human species has grown too strong and has the power to wipe out rest of the species on the planet, and unknowingly we are doing the same.
Just because they don’t say anything, doesn’t mean they do not retaliate. All the viruses that have come in last 5 decades including Covid 19 have come from animals that are not where they should be. Let us not underestimate the power of nature. It has wiped out much bigger species than humans in the past. Nature recovers fast, can humans?
Also Read: Top 5 Wildlife Conservation Schemes of India