Sunday, February 21, 2010

This ain't pleasing...

India!... known for its culture, nature, heritage and above all for its hospitality has drawn in tourists throughout the world. India is a place which has it all in it. The people here are warm and welcoming. They are known to their treatment of guests and their gesture towards them. With all these known facts the tourism ministry has been able to play a decent part in generating revenue which is a considerable part in the upcoming Indian Economy. This has been our history and the most worrisome part is that what has been history would possibly remain history!. This is because of my observation / encounters I have faced at different places where I travel.
Being quite addicted to explore the country I chose to travel at least once in a month. I have traveled almost the length and breadth of the country (excluding north east so far :( ). India has been amazing for the kind of diversity it offers from place to place and to some extent within the same place itself. I have been always interested to listen to history of the local place wherever I visit and I interact a lot with the local people as well. Almost my experience with the local people has been very pleasing and cherish-able. What disturb me a lot are the local business people who try to almost rob (in the name of service) the visitors. They leave you almost with no other option available rather than spending a lot more of what you should have. There is always a bitter experience which accompanies me in my every travel.
It would be the local taxi driver or an auto driver, a person at tourist information center, travel guide and for the sake the hotel manager. In some places the local market people who sell crafts of the land. Most of them are desperate to earn and not only to earn but to earn as much as possible. They have lies flowing as of poetry out of their mouth. They are always focused on the money the tourists bring in and not the emotions which come with them. This has been a consistent bitter experience with me in my first couple of travel visits to different places. I then decided not to take such local people's help and avoided them. Thanks to the books, bloggers and also some great initiatives of tourism department of some of the state government. I prefer to walk / take local public transport at places and also avoid buying local crafts in the market. Somehow if I deeply think this ain't pleasing at all. I mostly travel alone and its possible for me to do the entire walk / travel alone in a public transport system, but for a person who has a family to take care off would obviously suffer and end up in spending more than what he / she should have. I myself have decided that I'll not visit a certain places here after such experiences :(.
The reason for me writing this now is also as a concerned citizen of our country and a resident of Delhi, I am worried about the upcoming common wealth games. 8 months from now Delhi will be celebrating its biggest events ever!. Are we prepared for it?. I am not worried about the undergoing constructions of the stadiums and the hotels but I am worried about the attitude of the people. Delhi'ets would agree that the amount of arrogance among the people has increased much. With upcoming BRT, low floor buses and metro trains the government is doing its part to improve the standard of Delhi [though I am upset that Delhi government is more considered to build its infrastructure to please the people who would come in and the reason for developing these were not to improve the standards of living of the residents of the city. However the ultimate beneficiaries being the residents, this a welcome move by the government]. Still the difference between the comfort level of people commuting in their private vehicles and the ones in public transport is far.
However my point of argument here in this post is not that and it's about the attitude and behavior of local business people like the autowala's, taxiwala's and also our beloved bus conductors. One in twenty autowalas agree to come by meter [how many TSR complaints can I file?]. You hardly find a metered taxi available near you. [Sorry boss!.. you are in the national capital so you should call up Meeru / Easy cabs to travel to maintain the dignity :(]. In fact we would have commuting options for an aam janta from airport to Noida [oh you don't know this.. why don't you take a private taxi.. who'll not issue you a bill.... it's much cheaper]. Above all the most irritating is the bus conductors who always asks for change and never tender them back. I have always prepared myself to keep change with me and unfortunately one day I couldn't carry change with me and that day I had to get down of the bus and take another... Where will all the change these guys get from my fellow passengers go?. Some conductors don't issue tickets [this has been the case with many conductors whose language and words from their mouth would make your day]. I have filed 7 TSR complaints in the last one month’s against such conductors but what's the use?. I can be more comfortable traveling in my bike but that ain't the option for the tourists who might come down!. There would be many first timers who would come to Delhi. I am worried that we would rather make that as their last visit as well. I am still wondering what we as Delhi'ets are going to do to help them out!..... I'd be happy to render my hand....


harish said...

Selva everything you wrote is 100% true.May be this is a lack of education or hunger of money. Most of the people are running for more n more money..( bole tou logo ki bhookh khatam hi nahi hoti ).All the examples u have given are true. Ye log ,ye system kab sudhrega pata nahi but tumhare liye ek suggestion hai ki pls keep all the details before going to any place.

sugandha said...

nice read...dont worry selva..things are changing and that too for good, but change takes time. I am sure it will be better eight months from now.

Sups said...

I agree with you Selva. But if you're worried for the tourists..u needn't. Why?? Because the govt. has also introduced special buses for the visitors and m sure a lot of special transport will be made available for them.
About the attitude?>?
It's a challenge ofcourse. The government is creating awareness generating Ads and Amir Khan is the brand ambassador for the same. Hope these Advertisements make a little difference!

Aakanksha said...

They say the world is shrinking(cming closer), on the other hand to match with this the human conscience isnt expanding at the same rate, hence disparities among the two.
As measures i guess with beautification of the city the DELHI Govt might also be keen to hold cultural worshops for its employes on roads, road sign boards are glossy and bright, i hope instruction and information centres at public areas (stations- bus/rail/auto stands etc etc) will be highlighted more as well.
As far as changing people, spreading awareness constantly and massively if not the best, but a good way to prevent getting strangers into troubled waters, the more you know the less u suffer.