Incredible India – From Atithi Devo Bhavah to Atithi Bachoo Bhavah

India has rich culture and heritage and in our school textbooks we are taught-‘Guest is God’. Coming back to reality,here are some startling facts:
Scarlette, a British teenager was found dead on Goa’s popular Anjuna Beach on February 18. Investigations revealed she was drugged ,raped and left to die.
14 year old German minor accused Goa’s education minister’s son Rohit of raping her. The mother of girl yesterday itself withdrew the case after the murderous attack on her counsel. This is just tip of iceberg.There are numerous instances of such horrendous crimes done by few individuals , often aids of influential people who tarnish image of the whole country.

A country which attracted close to 3.3 million visitors last year and is trying desperately to boost tourism , which in turn can act as a catalyst for Economic growth, such incidents peg back all the efforts. India still is not among top 15 tourist destinations of the world and won’t be either till we do something about such shameful unforgivable acts. This is primarily one of the reasons that inspite of abundance of potential tourist destinations and natural wonders in the country, India is finding hard to match countries like Singapore which attracts more than 7 million tourists a year.
We ourselves have come across several instances when foreign tourists are misguided, cheated and rudely dealt with. Hospitality is out of the window in India and visitors are seen as someone from whom lot of money can be extracted by fooling them.Incredible India! Isn’t it?
Time has come to root out these weeds from the society who bring bad name to the country and there’s need to induce back confidence among the tourists about India as one of World’s most attractive and safe tourist destination.Fast track courts need to deal with such cases and government should make sure proper protection is provided to family of sufferer. Justice needs to be done in such cases and accussed be severely punished, no matter how influential he is.There’s need to bring back the assence of hospitality we are sorely lacking in.
‘Atithi Devo Bhavah Program’ under Ministry of Tourism,Govt. of India stresses on key differentiators, namely:
Hygiene and Cleanliness ( Hygiene & Cleanliness shall cover the areas of product for e.g. vehicles like taxies, hotel rooms, restaurants, shops, etc., personal hygiene & cleanliness of the person providing the service and cleanliness of the monuments / places of tourist interest)
Conduct and Behavior: The person concerned for e.g. the taxi driver / hotel employee shall behave in courteous and polite manner towards tourists.
Integrity and Honesty: The person providing service to the foreign tourists should display honesty and integrity.
Safety and Security: The safety and security of the tourists shall be ensured.
Change in mindset and behaviour of people towards tourists and tourism as a whole is crucial in realizing true potential of tourism in India.

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