Thinlas Chorol is founder of an all women travel company that provides female guide and all assistance for trekking in the rugged terrain of Ladakh
Thinlas Chorol, founder of Ladakhi Women’s Travel Co has been awarded the Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar 2013 for her outstanding contribution towards rural entrepreneurship. The award is given every year by Ladies’ Wing of Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC).
In 2009, Thinlas established the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Co , the first travel company in Ladakh to be both owned and operated solely by women and through ‘homestays’, expose women in the village to people and cultures they would normally not have as much contact with. Ladakhi Women’s Travel provides trekkers, travellers and tourists with female guides and porters. It also organises treks and homestays as well as cultural and scenic sightseeing tours in Ladakh.
Since her start as a guide in 2003, Thinlas has led countless treks around Ladakh and is today working to bring more women into the field of tourism.
A strong advocate for eco-friendly and community-based tourism, such as homestays, Thinlas is constantly promoting sustainable development of the tourist industry. Aside from trekking, Thinlas has a BA from Jammu University and was awarded Charkha’s “Ladakhi Women’s Writers Award” in 2008. She also received a bronze medal in the National Ice Hockey Championship 2006.
On most of the trekking routes in Hemis National Park, trekkers can now use homestays as they trek from village to village. They can walk during the day and at night stay in traditional homes, where they can eat Ladakhi food, meet local people and experience the Ladakhi culture and lifestyle.
The homestay system was started by the Snow Leopard Conservancy, a non-government organization, dedicated to preserving Ladakhi wildlife. The system was set up in order to generate income for the villagers in Hemis National Park, famous for its wildlife.
Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal, which will face Assembly elections in May, had opposed disclosure of its ITRs
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Income Tax (I-T) department to disclose within three weeks income tax returns (ITRs) of Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as the issue concerns larger public interest. Anil Bairwal of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) had filed the Right to Information (RTI) application seeking ITRs of BJD.
While asking the I-T department to disclose the information, Information Commissioner Rajiv Mathur, cited an earlier order of the CIC which had said an information which is otherwise exempt, can still be disclosed if public interest so warrants.
“In view of the fact that a larger public interest has been established by the Commission in the judgement referred to above, the disclosure of I-T returns of Biju Janata Dal does not fall in the exemption clause of Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. The CPIO is directed to provide the information sought within three weeks of receipt of the order,” Mathur held.
BJD, which will face Assembly elections in May, had opposed disclosure of its ITRs saying since they do not receive any grant from the government directly and indirectly information about their income tax returns should not be disclosed.
The I-T department decided to withhold information sought by Anil Bairwal citing a Supreme Court order which said that ITRs are personal information and should not be disclosed unless a larger public interest is involved.
Bairwal also wanted to know if the IT returns of the party contained balance sheet, auditor’s report, schedules, contribution reports and copy of assessment order among others.
The IT department held that there was no public interest involved in the disclosure of tax returns of the political party and, therefore, it could not be disclosed.
BJD was not among the six political parties that were declared to be public authorities liable to answer queries under the RTI Act by a full bench of the CIC.