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- West Wind Homez
Traditional Keralan backwater two-room homestay, government-rated as gold class, in the model tourism village of Kumbalangi island near Cochin. Your hosts, the Jojos will cook for you and arrange tours to help you experience village life. Facilities include modern kitchen, business centre with desktop pc, high speed Internet and printer, cable TV, washing machine, refrigerator, hammock, yoga and meditation training.
|1. OWNERSHIP - 4.5 out of 5|
(1.a) Who owns the Lodge? Please clarify if private, family, public, municipal, NGO, cooperative, as well as the nationality and place of birth of the owner.
Jojo Paul, Indian, born in Cochin.
(1.b) Who manages the Lodge?
(1.c) How many rooms are there?
2 (Two) bedrooms.
(1.d) How many beds are there?
(1.e) How many employees are there?
2 (two) part-time employees: kitchen assisting & compound & house-cleaning.
(1.f) How many employees are from the same village / city?
[All] both are our neighbours.
(1.g) If applicable, do employees or the community own any shares or share part of the revenue?
(1.h) What is the total area of the land?
1 Acre (0.4 Hectares)
(1.i) What is the total covered area of the Lodge including rooms and common areas (in sq. metres)?
80 sq. metres
(1.j) What is the total building footprint (in sq. metres) – i.e. part of the land covered by buildings
90 sq. metres
(1.k) Who has access to the Lodge’s facilities and its land and for what uses?
(1.l) What was the total turnover (total sales) of your last year of operation?
Rs 200,000 (approx EUR 3,400 / USD 4,500)
|2. ENVIRONMENT - 4 out of 5|
(2.a) Lodge Sitting (how was location chosen):
Its position is very eco-friendly, opens to wide back water frontage, highly scenic, greenish surroundings, west wind flows well throughout the day, through each and every corner of the house. The compound is spacious, walled, safe & independent, our prime house is very close to West Wind Homez, so in every aspect there is keen family supporting & assistance, help from a joint family. We have an independent waste handling unit which produces gas & organic fertiliser for our cultivation. The Backwaters provide fresh fish, prawns, crabs. West Wind Homez is an ideal place for a eco and healthy life in the very calm and quiet 'Model Tourism Village' of Kumbalangi, Cochin.
(2.b) Policy followed during construction:
The policy behind this construction stressed on factors aeration & natural lighting effective utilisation. The name West Wind Homez indicates its all time west wind availability, so the wind will pass through the house effectively, always providing a cool atmosphere inside the house. As the house location is at the backwater side more sunlight is available in the compound, so all rooms inside are naturally lit, the house is cross-ventilated effectively to maintain temperature inside. The doors, windows, and construction material used is locally available timber and most of it was from our compound. The front open Lobby is built to view effectively the scenic back water and natural aeration. The courtyard is spacious to allow get-togethers.
Natural sun lighting in rooms.
No need for extra heating, moderate climatic conditions.
West wind direct entry always cool rooms & surrounding, coconut plants & surrounding plants cool down the house.
Regular cleaning of the surroundings.
(2.g) Water Management:
A fresh water pond nearby provides water for all domestic & agricultural purposes. The well provides drinking water for us and our neighbours.
Fresh back water fish, home made vegetables cooked with bio gas from our waste treatment unit.
(2.i) Waste management:
All kitchen waste is used for bio gas & fertiliser production.
(2.j) Insect, pest control:
Bio insect repellent is used.
(2.k) Energy Sources, Use & Saving Measures:
CFL lamps using wind power. Photo cells used for night lightening.
(2.l) Noise Protection:
Calm & quiet surroundings.
(2.m) Accessible by public transport? If yes, please provide instructions from nearby city.
[No]. Four wheeler vehicle entry possible to our compound and home by a private pocket road connecting with Panchayath road ( local authority road). Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village is connected to mainland Cochin by a bridge, good roads across Kumbalangi village, many pocket roads to individual compounds.
(2.n) What is the recommended way of reaching your Lodge from the nearest International airport?
By road. Our home stay is 40 km away from Cochin International Air port, and accessible by road to Thoppumpady Bot Bridge. Turn Left to Palluruthy, Kumbalangi Vazhi, Right Turn to Perumpadap Cross Bridge to Kumbalangi , Down side Right Turn to Pocket Road go ahead for Jojo Paul Edakatt.
(2.o) Distance from nearby village / city:
[located within a village, distance from nearest city:] Ernakulam District: 11 km, Fort Cochin 9 km.
(2.p) Architectural Features:
Traditional styling by tile roofing, eco friendly construction for natural air & light utilisation. Inside: sealing by natural bamboo plywood. Natural coconut and good local timbers are used for carpentry work.
(2.q) Construction Materials:
Timber, granites and bricks, all locally available. Timbers are from our compound, granites & bricks are from our nearby quarries.
(2.r) Landscape Management:
Natural grown Buffallo grass for lawn and garden, also growing banana and papaya.
|3. ECONOMIC - 3.5 out of 5|
(3.a) Initiation or participation in local projects:
Active Member of the Kumbalangi Model Tourism Village Development Society.
(3.b) Contact, cooperation with local organisations:
Active participant in all Kumbalangi Panchayath ( local adminstraton) activities.
(3.c) Direct Donations:
We will donate to charity organizations like Vincent De Paul Society of our St. Joseph Church, and giving contributions for poor girls marriage funds, Pension Scheme for poor, aged, sick, persons & widows with no body to help & care
(3.d) Who took the initiative to build this Lodge?
(3.e) Did the local community participate in the decision-making process concerning the founding and creation of this Lodge?
All the construction activities is licenced by local authority.
(3.f) How are profits distributed, and who decides about it?
There is clear understanding between our family members.
(3.g) Are there any national and local taxes to be paid or are you exempt?
Presently small units with up to 2 letable rooms are exempted from direct tax by state & Central Govrrnment up to a certain turn over .
(3.h) What percentage of consumables are locally sourced, how many are nationally sourced, and how many are imported?
All are locally available.
(3.i) Do you cultivate food for the guests?
[?] I know basic cooking and can cook food for guests. I can prepare Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
(3.j) Do you have any agreements with local producers?
Yes we are using eco friendly grown food & vegetables, fruits.
(3.k) Have ever you received any funding, state, national, private or international and for what purposes?
(3.l) What is the average double room rate (excluding breakfast) per room per night?
Rs 2200 (approx EUR 37 / USD 50)
|4. SOCIAL - 3.5 out of 5|
(4.a) Do your employees have health insurance?
Yes, presently there are insurance policies for part-time employees also with a one-time premium for one year cover, we have included our part time employees in this scheme.
(4.b) Do your employees have paid leave?
[No.] Our home stay is a small one and seasonally functioning. At present we have no full-time employees so there is no question of paid leave, but our part time assistants in need of any urgency, sickness, we will give them leave, in most cases we will give monetary help in such cases.
(4.c) Are your employees entitled to maternity leave?
Presently our part-time assistant ladies are middle-aged and they will not deliver. Any case with delivery issue we will give them leave and give money and will do all necessary humanitarian considerations with a broad mind.
(4.d) Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? (Please state minimum wage, and explain):
We pay Rs 100 daily ((EUR 1.7 - USD 2.25) for kitchen assisting as per requirement.
(4.e) What is the total paid for wages last year? (excluding wages paid to yourself and members of your family)
Rs 10,000 (approx. EUR 170 / USD 225)
(4.f) Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week:
3 to 5 days weekly, 14 - 18 hrs weekly.
(4.g) Do you employ your staff all year round? (If not, please explain arrangement)
It is a seasonal work, there is no need of a kitchen assistant for a full time basis. They are our neighbours they will come and work if any urgency occurs. The cleaning assistant will clean our compounds in alternate days if there is no guests in our home stay.
(4.h) Do you employ immigrants? (If so, are they offered the same remuneration & benefits?)
(4.i) Do you employ trainees? (If so, please explain what type of tasks they perform, how much they are paid, how many hours they work and how do you source them)
(4.j) Do you use volunteers? (Please explain what tasks they are given)
(4.k) Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors?
[No] We take special care for elderly guests.
(4.m) What measures are in place to protect the local (or the indigenous) population from some adverse impacts of tourism?
No more problems.
(4.n) Do you undertake any poverty reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to poverty reduction?
We contribute to the charity funds of our church Vincent de Paul Society, the Poor Women Marriage Fund, a pension scheme for poor, aged, sick and widows. In our church there is a box in front of the Altar, any person who likes to contribute to the pension scheme can put money into this box and every month end it will be opened and the funds distributed to pre-listed persons.
(4.o) Do you undertake any inequality reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to inequality reduction?
Yes, definitely a broad minded vision is needed, everybody have their own vision to make a carreer, but it will not always work, circumstances will take them somewhere else, so as a human everybody must have a third eye to look into such cases and do the needful with an open heart, that is the real human, this way inequality up to a certain limit can be eliminated effectively.
(4.p) Do you undertake any injustice reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to injustice reduction?
Injustice is a social issue, we will react for justice.
(4.q) What is the minimum, average and maximum age of your employees?
Presently our part time employees are middle-aged at above 45. The minimum age I consider (for employees) is 18 years, the average age is up to 30, maximum 60.
(4.r) How many employees do you have?
Two (2) part time helpers in kitchen & cleaning.
|5. CULTURAL- 4 out of 5|
(5.a) Is there a local community / e.g. a nearby village?
Yes we have many adjacent villages. While coming from Cochin side the nearby village is Palluruthy. Palluruthy is at Cochin corporation limits (i.e. city limits), while Kumbalangi is a Panchayath (local Body) limits. Palluruthy is a little conjested state as it has more population and also having the some what rush situation of vehicles & crowd. Perumpadap is the entry to Kumbalangi from Cochin side. Here also it is a little more busy than our Kumbalangi village. At the South end of Kumbalangi is the gateway to another district, Alleppy also known as Ezhupunna, a simple village, calm & quite like our village which has fish & prawn farms like our place. At the East end is Edakochi & Arroor, Edakochi is a border village of Ernakulam District. Edakochi connects with Arroor by bridge. Arroor is the north end of Alleppy District. Arroor has a national highway proceeding direct to Alleppy by road.
(5.b) Do guests interact with the local community and how?
Yes the Home Stay concept is meant for very effective interaction with the local community. This is the main difference between a Hotel Stay and a Home Stay. In the home stay guests live among surrounding homes, they can interact with them, can get a vivid picture about a society of a village life, cultural values, life styles, livelihood etc.They can get a great feeling of respect to another nations guests, they can easily understand why they came here - to get an idea about local village life & become a member among them. I will introduce our neighbours, friends, workers, to our guests, if they can not communicate I will tell them to make command, oppinion, suggestion and it will be explained to my guests, our guests oppinion will also be transferred to our people.
(5.c) What type of information is available to guests at the property:
They will get all necessary information about locality, their cultural values, local life, festivals, different worships of cast & religion, essential places to visit, different local fishing methods, how a fish, prawn & crab farm functions, how their products are marketed, the different skills & traditional livelihood of old agers etc.
(5.d) What type of activities are available to guests at the property:
West Wind Homez is rightly placed facing wide backwater, by sitting there itself they can enjoy the fantastic scenery, local fishing, they can feel the West Wind blowing over wide backwater, they can enjoy fantastic sun sets, a trip on backwaters in traditional country boats.
(5.e) Local guided tours for guests:
We arrange local tour to our guests to see the village life & its places to see. First is to our village park near by bridge. There they can see a cluster of Chinese nets and to see north end of village and Perumpadap Santacruz Infant Jesus Church. They can pass the bridge by walk and enjoy the fantastic scenery. Next to village rounding to east side of Kumbalangi by the side of St. Joseph Church to north south end Fish Farms & to Edakochi Ferry. There they can see clusters of Chinese nets, Edakochin Arroor bridge ie the north end of Aleppy District and its industrial estate. Then proceeding to main road to Kumbalangi Panchayath the local administrator of a village, the basic set up of democratic India. The pocket road proceeding to Kallancherry, a true island and one of the wards of Kumbalangi, There we can see crab, prawn and fish farms, home stays & traditional livelihood of our old agers as a demonstration. Next to our main fish and prawn Farms the vast area of Kumbalangi Padashegharam, our old & Ancient Churches, Temples, Mosques, Schools, and the south end of Kumbalangi, a typical Ferry Service & Kandakadav Beach.
(5.f) Events / presentations held at the facility so far:
Here people comes to see a typical home stay & its eco friendly Backwater Location, to stay here and to become our friendly guests. Recently our home stay was visited by the U.K. Independent Tour Operators Association. We are also arranging friendly get-togethers & celebrations.
(5.g) Specific programme for children:
[None]. We are planning some specific programme for children.
(5.h) Research / Publications produced / assisted by the property so far:
(5.i) Is the local community at all involved in the operation of the Lodge and how?
They are interested in Tourism, when it comes full swing their involvement is possible. Currently we can give two persons a part-time job, if it is in full swing their job chances also increase. Transportation is carried by our local drivers so they will get money from tourists.
B. OTHER SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
(B.a). Please send links of videos from your Lodge backing one or more of your answers, along with brief description (50 words maximum) of what each video shows.
(B.b). Please state any green certificates won by the property and provide scanned photos of these.
(B.c). Please sign to indicate your agreement with the following:
I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB Rating, which will be decided in the manner specified at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating if we find it unfavourable. I also understand that the rating will be valid for a minimum of 1 Year, and a maximum of 3 Years. By submitting this questionnaire I indicate acceptance of all ECOCLUB.com Rating terms, conditions and procedures as stated at http://ecoclub.com/ecotourism/rating and understand that these may be modified at any time without notice.
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Your Name: Jojo Paul Date: 20 March 2010
3.9 out of 5