Community based visitor's facilities in Alikadam, Bandarban
AuthorKhan, Zerin Tasnim
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The project explores the role of architecture in educating according to the principles of eco-tourism in rural Bangladesh. The project proposes to use architecture as a way of economically supporting a struggling hilly area located in the heart of Alikadam in Bandarban. The project aims to promote conservation and eco-tourism in the region. The main purpose of this project is to revitalize an industry which has been largely ignoring the social and cultural values of the surrounding region by limiting the interaction between the tourists and the locals. I aim to successfully incorporate an eco-resort along with a working plantation, thereby introducing the guests to the traditional methods and ways of living and farming in this region. In the past, hotel groups like the Radisson have acquired large blocks of land to create their five star resorts. These resorts are completely self-contained with minimal interaction with the local environment. This type of development detracts from providing its guests the true essence of rural Bangladesh . Community-based development is a form of development that takes place within the community, emphasizes maximum participation of community members in its design and implementation, is ongoing, meets real needs, and is basically self-reliant. To achieve this, the community needs to have a structure, and persons trained in appropriate methods of implementation. Usually, community-based development will be small-scale, low-cost, and use simple technologies. The model must be equally available to all communities, irrespective of their location, denomination or means, and provide for all members of the community according to their needs There are different ethnic groups reside in the Chittagong Hill Tracts(CHT) speaking different languages , practicing different religions, and following different cultural rules. Living mostly in the hills of Banderban, the “Mru”; are one of these ethnic groups, facing challenges of discrimination not only from the Bangali people, but also from other tribes. They are very isolated from other tribes, because of their topographical location and some other problems causing them utmost poverty. The “Mru” tribe is currently aspiring to become socio-economically solvent. They are greatly influenced by the development of their neighboring tribes and local Bengalis, and their desires come at the expense of their rich culture, language, traditions, customs and religion. This community is at a transitional point and there is a great chance that their aspiration might derail them. What they fail to realize is that their own culture, language and religion can fulfill their aspirations if they are nurtured properly. For this a descriptive research method and field study are done with the “Mru” people and organizations (N.G.O.), professionals dealing with them and a project based on a bottom up approach has been proposed. This project aims to give the “Mru” tribe a direction in which they might evolve without forgetting their roots. Moreover, they have already been able to move forward religiously by getting rid of certain taboos, introducing texts and preventing other religious influences. Their development is engraved within their own culture and the possibilities are immense only if they can realize it before it is too late. The juxtaposition of both knowledge and creativity of this community with the little help of training and awareness can lead them to build an ideal community where they will not have the feeling of isolation ,social negligence and influence of other society, but they will have the courage to promote themselves in terms of their unique culture, language and religion. I would like to design a visitor‟s facilities which gives the guests a real sense of what rural hilly Bangladesh is really like. The guests will have a real interaction with the day to day running of a working plantation and with the locals employed on the farm. They will have the ability to interact and even take part in the operations at the plantation. This may include activities like helping with the harvesting of vegetables or fruits plants. Their experience of this area will be different to anything the average tourist to India might encounter. And awareness can lead them to build an ideal community where they will not have the feeling of isolation ,social negligence and influence of other society, but they will have the courage to promote themselves in terms of their unique culture, language and religion.