Maruti had planned to conduct media drives of the new Jimny in Leh, Ladakh region later this month – But the venue has now been changed to Dehradun
Newly minted wide-open highways and powerful SUVs have been a boon for travel buffs. It has also given a fillip to tourism across the country. However, not everyone seems to be happy.
Quite a few travel enthusiasts don’t seem to be aware of the environmental impact of their actions. Exploring exotic locations is great fun, but it can also harm the environment. In a recent example, Jimny can be seen driving in a river in Ladakh. This was being done when Maruti was shooting the TVC for Jimny. Maruti Suzuki has been criticized by those who care for the environment.
Jimny media drive location changed – Hyped reaction to Jimny river adventure?
Earlier, Maruti had planned to conduct the Jimny media test drives in the same region of Leh and Ladakh. But that is no longer happening. Sumant Banerji from Live Mint has tweeted that the location of Jimny media drive has been shifted to Dehradun.
While Maruti has been criticized for shooting TVC in such a manner, a number of travel and off-road enthusiasts don’t see it as a threat to the environment. Many people are asking for verifiable data that can prove the type and extent of damage caused by Jimny wading in the river.
Some folks are giving examples of rivers without bridges that are routinely criss-crossed by vehicles including large trucks in Ladakh region. Many people are also saying that permission for the TVC shoot would have been given by the local authority. So, the respective officials should be blamed instead of Maruti.
These reactions are natural and quite true. However, it’s a different thing when a leading brand seems to be setting up a wrong precedent. Brands have millions of followers and their actions are likely to be considered normal and probably copied by others. This is where the problem begins.
With Jimny wading in the river, many people may be tempted to repeat the same. While that one drive with Jimny may not have any major impact, things will be different when thousands of visitors start doing the same. This is why brands need to be extra careful about the implications of their actions.
Awareness can help protect pristine locations
Heavy rush of tourists to locations such as Leh, Ladakh is already burdening the fragile ecosystem of the region. Things can get worse if people start to directly interact with river ecosystems, lakes, pristine flora and fauna and other natural resources. With Ladakh spread over a wide region, it’s next to impossible to keep track of activities of each and every visitor in the region.
To protect nature, all while promoting tourism, an effective tool could be to spread awareness among the masses. People should know the consequences of their actions. Throwing a bottle out of the car seems to hardly matter. But imagine if thousands of people do the same on that route. Often people don’t seem to care, as it is difficult to understand the long-term impact of their actions. That’s where awareness can be helpful.