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Resource Center
Is India Trying to Subdue Kashmir Through Religious Tourism? 
July 17, 2018
The Indian state under the increasing influence of Hindu nationalism is using Hindu pilgrimage sites..
“Aswachh Bharat” marks Amarnath yatra 
July 15, 2018

Tourism and Plastic: Exploring the Contours 

June 04, 2018
The threat that plastic poses to the health of the planet has been raising alarm bells for some time..
As Women, Are We Really Economically Empowered A view from the point of view of Tourism 
April 10, 2018

Do we enjoy the same quality of life as our male counterparts? How can we, when the figures of women..

Meet the Majid Squad, a Group that Voluntarily Cleans Filth on Amarnath Yatra Routes 
January 29, 2018
Notwithstanding the National Green Tribunal directions, Governor N N Vohra recently decided that a 60-day-long..
EQUATIONS Vision and Core Values

In 1985, EQUATIONS was founded in response to understand the impacts of development, particularly in the context of liberalised trade regimes, the opening up of national economy, new economic polices and structural adjustments. While the industry, the middle class and the upper class of society were lauding these changes, the question remained on what these changes held for the common person (the indigenous people, dalits, women, coastal communities and the poor). Would it better their lives economically and qualitatively, and would they have greater access to healthcare, education and employment? Were the natural resources on which they depend protected? Did they have any influence in any of the development decisions? Did they have a voice in policy making?

With the covert and overt entry of international institutions like the World Bank, IMF and the WTO, into the policy spaces of governments, there was a necessity to understand macro policies and the process of policy making. 

EQUATIONS chose to study and intervene in these issues through the lens of tourism. At the outset, the macro changes initiated, made it seem that non-exploitative or equitable tourism was a fantasy. But, the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution institutionalising Local Self Governments renewed hope that democratic institutions could still survive amidst the inexorable sweep of globalisation and global institutions.

There were growing human rights groups, civil liberties groups, social formations and movements, which challenged corrupt governments and powerful lobbies in the country. There was a stronger environmental movement in the country. The demand for the Right to Information, governance that is more accountable and a role in policymaking was strong. A critical mass of intellectual elite with a conscience was emerging and the sheer number of civil society groups was growing. These provided hope to us that strategic interventions on tourism through research, awareness building, grassroots based struggles, campaigns and advocacy would yield results.

Our 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. EQUATIONS believes in the capacity of individuals and communities to actualise their potential for the well-being of society.

Towards this, we endorse justice, equity, people centred and movement centred activism, democratisation and dialogue as our core values. 

Our Method of Work
Research and Analysis – Our research focuses on the impacts of tourism. Under its ambit, the broad areas which we research on are the economic, social, cultural, environmental, and legal and policy impacts. We also critically analyse tourism development at ‘destinations’ on how it impacts the lives and livelihood of local communities, their social milieu and their environment.

Campaigns and Advocacy – We initiate campaigns and support people’s struggles, against unjust, undemocratic and unsustainable forms of tourism. We advocate people’s concerns with local, regional and national government and lobby for change.  Our advocacy aims for decentralised democracy and we believe 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 experience and aspirations influences tourism policies.

Networking – We build networks of people; grassroots organisations, local communities, activists, researchers, trade unions, legal and policy experts, who are concerned, as we are, with ensuring that tourism planning, policy and implementation is equitable, people-centred and just. We rely on our network partners to build our perspectives from the ground.

We Organize our Work Across the Following Themes
Child & Tourism – We work with local communities, concerned groups, the tourism industry and other players to ensure that the rights of children are protected in the context of tourism. We endeavour to influence central and state governments to incorporate, implement and monitor child sensitive guidelines in their respective policies and legislations.

Ecosystems, Communities and Tourism - We work on international, national and local level policies and processes to build an understanding of environmental impacts of tourism. We critique current models of tourism; all which have a bearing on ecological sustainability, biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods.

Economic Impacts and Tourism – We provide a developing-country perspective at the national and international fora on the impacts of trade and economic policies on tourism development and community benefit. We work on influencing the national government's trade and economic policies related to tourism to prioritise community rights, benefits and local regulation.

Governance, Law and Tourism – We work with rural and urban Local Self Governing Institutions (LSGIs) to exercise their rights and to develop guidelines and mechanisms to strengthen local regulation of tourism and to ensure that they play an active and decisive role in tourism development.

Tourism Education – We aim to influence how tourism is taught in India by mainstreaming critical perspectives and attempt changes in tourism curriculum. We engage with students, teachers and tourism institutions by building awareness on tourism impacts, encouraging research and welcoming interns.

Women and Tourism - The tourism industry claims to be a major employer of women globally, but this is an industry that is far from gender just. 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. We endeavour to influence policy makers for evolving greater gender-sensitive models and policies for tourism.

We Organize our Work Across the States and Union Territories of India
We work in the Indian states and union territories along the lines of the above-mentioned thematic areas. We have strong networks in the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.  We are increasingly active with groups in other parts of the country like Central India, Eastern India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North-East States, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) established in 1985 is a Society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960. It is also registered under section 12A(a) of the Income Tax Act 1961 and recognised under Section 80G of the same Act.