Reading Comprehension Test 7 for CUET Aspirants
Read the passage given below.
I. I got posted in Srinagar in the 1980s. Its rugged mountains, gushing rivers and vast meadows reminded me of the landscapes of my native place – the Jibhi Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Unlike Srinagar that saw numerous tourists, Jibhi Valley remained clouded in anonymity. That’s when the seed of starting tourism in Jibhi was planted. I decided to leave my service in the Indian Army and follow the urge to return home.
II. We had two houses – a family house and a traditional house, which we often rented out. I pleaded with my father to ask the tenant to vacate the house so that I could convert it into a guesthouse. When my family finally relented, I renovated the house keeping its originality intact, just adding windows for sunlight.
III. I still remember the summer of 1992 when I put a signboard outside my first guesthouse in Jibhi Valley! The village residents, however, were sceptical about my success. My business kept growing but it took years for tourism to take off in Jibhi Valley. Things changed significantly after 2008 when the government launched a homestay scheme. People built homestays and with rapid tourism growth, the region changed rapidly. Villages turned into towns with many concrete buildings. Local businesses and tourists continued putting a burden on nature.
IV. Then, with the 2020-21 pandemic and lockdown, tourism came to a complete standstill in Jibhi Valley. Local people, who were employed at over a hundred homestays and guesthouses, returned to their villages. Some went back to farming; some took up pottery and some got involved in government work schemes. Now, all ardently hope that normalcy and tourism will return to the valley soon. In a way, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to introspect, go back to our roots and look for sustainable solutions.
V. For me, tourism has been my greatest teacher. It brought people from many countries and all states of India to my guesthouse. It gave me exposure to different cultures and countless opportunities to learn new things. Most people who stayed at my guesthouse became my repeat clients and good friends. When I look back, I feel proud, yet humbled at the thought that I was not only able to fulfill my dream despite all the challenges, but also play a role in establishing tourism in the beautiful valley that I call home. (394 words)
Based on your understanding of the passage, answer any eight out of the ten questions by choosing the correct option
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