Escape to the country: India’s villagers open doors to city tourists | Anne Pinto-Rodrigues

A scheme training people to host outsiders is creating alternative livelihoods that will help build resilience against climate crisis and stem migration for Indian families

Datta Kondar leads a group of tourists through his village in Maharashtra to view the firefly spectacle for which it is so famous. With the arrival of the monsoons in June, thousands of fireflies emerge at twilight and perform an elaborate courtship ritual, signalling to prospective mates with their glowing bodies in a mesmerising show.

Being a tour guide is not what Kondar, 36, had planned. In 2003, he took the typical route of many rural Indians, travelling to the city in search of work. But he found himself unable to cope with the gritty realities of life in Mumbai and returned to his village, Purushwadi, within a year.

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