The BASIS program is much more than a resort holiday in India. One of the first tenets of ecotourism is ‘take only photographs; leave only footprints.’ The BASIS program goes one step further; the founders Mathew and Leelamony Moozhiyil firmly believe, and have been live examples, that every visitor adds value. The story of BASIS is an intriguing study in the mutual interspersing of cultures and the benefit that it brings to both.
As a guest, you will see firsthand the many, many ways that BASIS lives up to the principle behind Responsible Tourism. They are completely focussed on Sustainability and every move in BASIS follows that underlying theme.
The food for instance; every meal is made from the best of local produce. The food is prepared in the traditional way, making the best of natural flavours. For those who are wary of the heat of Indian curries, you will get to experience a whole new dimension of Indian cooking that will completely change your mind.
Sustainability is the mantra in BASIS. You can check out all their Sustainability efforts on their web page: There’s the waste water treatment, the tailoring unit to train local men and women and equip them with life skills, the food crop cultivation, the ayurveda plants Nursery in Kumily… the list goes on. But it is the little things around the place that show that sustainability is not just an effort here but a way of life.
Taking a walk around the Sreekandamangalam estate is a discovery tour in itself. There are around 1500 different plants in the property and the methods of cultivation are so uniquely natural. The vegetables that go into making meals are completely organic. You will see no clouds of pesticide hovering over the plants. Matthew explains that nature doesn’t need a boost from man; neem leaves act as pesticides, the filtered waste from the water treatment plant acts as fertilizer. It’s completely natural.
As a guest, there are myriad things that you will learn. Bottle agriculture for instance. On one wall is a line of used bottles that are placed in a zigzag and irrigated by a system of drip agriculture from the waste water plant. This is upcycling in action; used bottles aren’t just recycled but used for a more versatile purpose just as they are.
The beach front in Kumily is splendid in its all natural glory. There is nothing to break its beauty. You won’t have visitors littering things around, or hawkers trying to pull you to beach shacks. The beach is pristine and beautiful; nature exists in perfect harmony here.
Another thing that you can’t fail to notice is the way people’s lives have been transformed by the work that the Moozhiyils have done. You really must talk to people in Sreekadamangalam and Kumily; they all have stories to tell and all of them have a thread woven into BASIS.
If it is an ecotourism destination that you are looking for, BASIS is the place to go. For more details, check out the website: www.basis-holidays.com