With Love For India: Julie Kagti, Founder of Curtain Call Adventures
With Love For India
A winemaker who works with kiwi farmers in her region. A communications specialist who is creating empowering, feminist rag dolls. An adventure tour specialist who believes in local experiences. An entrepreneur who envisioned and launched an app to help everyone learn Indian languages. Another who brings traditional Maharashtrian fare to dining tables across the world. Our country is replete with visionaries who are working towards empowering local communities and artisans while educating the world about their skills and crafts. Made in India, for the world. In this special issue, we applaud these women who are putting India on the world map…
“I felt the need to offer discerning travellers a richer experience through visits to local villages”
Founder of Curtain Call Adventures
The COVID 19 pandemic has been a reminder that we don’t live as isolated societies, but, as humankind, share this planet. Julie Kagti, the Assamese founder and travel curator of Curtain Call Adventures, firmly believes that local communities are the guardians of our environment and our traditions, and that sustainable or low-impact travel is a way of taking responsibility to help them prosper. Curtain Call encourages immersive travel in the Northeast to benefit local communities, because building their economy also gives them an incentive to hold onto their culture.
Excerpts from an interview:
“During my student days in Mumbai, a lot of my friends would request me to put them in touch with travel agents operating in the Northeast. After a while, I found that all the itineraries were to fixed destinations with little or no interaction with local communities. I cherish my own connections with the Northeast, and my exposure to the various cultures has enriched my sense of identity and belonging. I felt the need to offer discerning travellers a richer experience through visits to local villages that offer a chance to see the ways of the tribes in their purity.
“I feel it’s important for families to understand our Indian heritage and imbibe it. I have sought this immersive approach in my own travels with my children. Most of the time we stayed in homestays where we would interact with the owners and enjoy really cool local experiences. As a local’s understanding of a place, its ecology and traditions is better, this helps in planning practices that are less harmful to the environment and more beneficial to communities to live in harmony with their surroundings.
“We can encourage more people to truly invest in celebrating Indianness by sharing our own experiences and the benefits we have received, promoting places and destinations to which it would not be possible to plan immersive trips. I curate trips for my travellers as I would for my own family. Social media helps in this to reach a larger audience and connect with like-minded people who, too, would like to celebrate this rich experience of Indianness.
“If you’re looking to make a positive change with social impact, focus on your passion, whether it’s travel, craft, textiles, performing arts or cuisine. It will motivate, guide and inspire you.”
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