About Us Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) is a research, campaign and advocacy NGO working on social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of tourism on local communities in India. Our work is directed towards enabling non-exploitative, equitable and sustainable tourism in India. We function out of Bangalore, India and were founded in 1985.
We work towards awareness and mitigation of the negative impacts of tourism in India. Primarily providing analysis, initiating campaigns, advocating for law and policy changes, and networking with other groups working on the issues of tourism. (Ref)
The work of EQUATIONS can be categorised into six broad themes not restricted to any particular region in India.
Child and Tourism The main objectives is to advocate for social accountability and responsibility on the protection of children in tourism, encourage collaborative and concerted action to combat the exploitation of children in tourism (Ref) and influence governments to incorporate child-friendly and gender-sensitive guidelines (Ref). EQUATIONS is a formal member of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes - (ECPAT) International (Ref) and work closely with ECPAT on the mission to rid tourism of child exploitation. (Ref)
Economic Impacts and Tourism The objective is to evaluate the implications of international trade and economic policy on tourism development and consequent impact on local communities (Ref) . Since the early nineties, EQUATIONS has engaged with the issues of impact of globalisation, trade and investment policies on tourism development. (Ref)
Ecosystems, Communities and Tourism EQUATIONS examines tourism development from an environmental angle (Ref) and also linking it to the livelihoods, culture, way of living of communities dependent on natural resources (Ref).The belief is that tourism development must be environmentally just, respectful of the rights of local communities and sustainable (Ref). EQUATIONS uses research grounded in grassroots realities and advocates (Ref) through networking with the government, the tourism industry, media, other civil society organisations and with communities (Ref).
Governance, Law and Tourism We monitor laws and policies and advocates concerns on the unregulated expansion of tourism in violation of rights of local communities and self governance at the grassroots level with various ministries and departments (Ref). EQUATIONS also works with communities and individuals to build awareness and capacity towards exercising their rights in relation to tourism planning and implementation in their local region (Ref).
Women and Tourism Our work examines ways in which women can have greater access, control and ownership over livelihoods and natural resources as well as access to the benefits in the context of tourism. (Ref)
Tourism Education We engage with students, academicians and tourism institutions to build awareness on tourism impacts, encouraging research and welcoming interns. Our attempt is to integrate critical perspectives on the impacts of tourism within tourism curriculum to further understanding of how tourism can be more equitable. (Ref)
EQUATIONS Vision EQUATIONS envisions a just and equitable world, where all people have the freedom and the right to determine their lives and future. We envision forms of tourism which are non-exploitative, where decision making is democratised, and access to and benefits of tourism are equitably distributed. We believe in the capacity of individuals and communities to actualise their potential for the well-being of society. (Ref)
Campaigns and Advocacy EQUATIONS initiates campaigns and supports people's struggles, against unjust, undemocratic and unsustainable forms of tourism. We advocate people's concerns with the local, regional and national government. Our advocacy aims for decentralised democracy and that communities should have a decisive voice in the access, control and ownership over their livelihood, natural resources and common resources. We try to ensure people's experiences influences changes in tourism policies. (Ref) (Ref) (Ref)
Intern/Volunteer With Us EQUATIONS is committed to providing capacity building and learning opportunities to students both domestic and international to gain a critical perspective about tourism and its impacts by interning with us. The focus of the internship is expected to be on issues connected with our areas of work and priorities. We do make serious efforts to match this with the intern's skills and interests as well. Would you like to explore this further? Do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not have the financial resources to offer a stipend but we do provide solid learning opportunities, use of our extensive material and resources and our time to help you learn and contribute through expert guidance.
We also welcome requests if you would like to volunteer with us, We are flexible about the amount of time you can spend and the kind of work you would like to do – do let us know if this is something we can take further in a discussion with you. Volunteer work has ranged from helping with Organisation Development to sorting out our news clippings, to proof reading our documents, helping with our website and helping us develop a data base of all our contacts. We are grateful for any volunteer help – do contact us. (Ref)
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