50% off if you dont sight a leopard...and children, smoking, and drinking allowed....

August 27, 2010

Dear Sirs,

I am a Mahindra holidays member, and I just saw this link for your homestay inCastle Bera, Pali, Rajasthan:

click here to see the web page

As an avid nature and wildlife lover, I am appalled at your “50% of your money back if you do not spot a leopard” offer. A trip into the wilderness should be maintained, for any tourist, at a realistic level, and the guests should be told that whatever they sight is up to their luck. By making such an offer, you seem to be trivializing wildlife to a monetary level.

You are also reinforcing the idea that only “big cats” such as the leopard are worthy things to see on a safari. On a wildlife safari, any true naturalist would tell you that everything that is seen has its interest and value. I am deeply disturbed by the perception of wildlife that you seem to be inculcating in your prospective guests.

Apart from this, on this page, I notice that children seem to be listed along with alchohol, cigarettes, non-vegetarian food, pets and curfews. I thought that Mahindra’s was known for its family-oriented stance…in fact, your tagline is “fun, family, forever”. If this is the way you list children (“allowed”, you say, as if they are some kind of unwanted factors)…how can you make that claim?

I request you to change this insensitive and inaccurate webpage in a manner which will give guests more of respect towards the wildlife they are going to see, and which will also respect the fact that children are part of your customer base and not unwanted appendages that have to be specially allowed.

When I tried to get an email id to write to on your website, I found that even the corporate office does not list an email id. I spoke to Rebecca at the Corporate office just now and she has promised that my email will be looked into.


Let me see what the response is….

Update: my friend Ramesh has suggested to another friend who runs a wildlife tourism agency, the following fee structure:

10% money back if you don’t sight a sambar deer

20% money back if you don’t sight a bison

30% money back if you don’t sight a rhino

40% money back if you don’t sight a leopard

50% money back if you don’t sight a tiger

And 100% money back if you don’t sight a mobile phone tower anywhere (you will never have to pay this for sure).