Tourism dept scheme eludes SC, ST youths in Mysuru region

Since 2014, when the Tourism department issued guidelines for training of SC and ST youths as tourist guides under Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), no one has been benefitted so far, in the region - Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts.

Deputy Director for Tourism, Mysuru, H P Janardhan said, there is provision to train 20 SC candidates and 17 ST candidates as tourist guides in a batch. "But if the Tourism department is providing the training and certificate, there is no demand among the aspirants. The expenses would also exceed the prescribed budget if the Tourism department conducts the training. So, we have approached the Bahadur Institute of Management Studies (BIMS) at the University of Mysuru (UoM) to train the candidates. BIMS has agreed to the proposal and is looking forward to an approval by the UoM Syndicate," he said.

"There are experts in the related subjects in the university. The university certificate also carries wider acceptance. Besides, authorities of the BIMS have said that they would start a short-term diploma course in tourism," said Janardhan.

M N Harish, DD for Tourism, Mandya, said, he is also facing similar problems. "We tried to train the candidates through the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) in Mysuru. But the authorities at the ATI said that ATI is meant to train government officials and there is no provision to train non-officials. Somehow, through the higher officials, permission has been availed to train the candidates at the ATI under the scheme. However, the budget provided for food for the candidates does not match the ATI standards," he said.

"Even though we have got 20 applications from SC candidates, only one ST candidate has applied in Mandya district. It is an elaborate 78-day course, which covers a wide range of subjects and topics, even though it is meant for candidates with a 10th pass qualification. So, the classes have to be handled by experts. We have submitted a proposal to the Tourism department of the Karnataka State Open University to take up the responsibility to train a batch. The head of the department Shalva Pille Iyengar is working out the modalities. We are expecting a positive response from them," he said.

Harish said, if there are 20 candidates each from Mandya, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts, all the 60 plus candidates can be combined into a single batch for conducting the course successfully. "We are also in talks with the Tourism department officials in the other two districts. Hope, we would be able to train the guides from the deprived classes, who will also help the tourists understand the history, heritage, and culture of the region in a better way. They will serve as our ambassadors to the world," he said.

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