There have been numerous instances highlighting how demonetisation brought out the best in many common Indians – some served tea to those standing in lines, some helped them fill forms, some ran campaigns on social media helping people find less-crowded ATMs – the extent of help rendered by people to make demonetisation less troublesome is truly inspiring. But some people went a step ahead – they helped foreign tourists with their money problems proving why India is famous all over the world for ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’.
This is the story of Lucy Plummer, a tourist who was in India during the days post demonetisation. She says she’s fallen further in love with India because of this –
‘About two weeks ago, I found myself in Delhi with just Rs. 100 left in my pocket. I roamed in Delhi for 13 hours, queuing at several different ATM machines, sometimes for two hours at a stretch, only to get to the machine & have my card rejected. With a flight to Mumbai booked for the next morning, I needed cash. As the sun set that day, it took with it any hope that I was clinging to of finding cash & making my flight.
It wasn’t just the prospect of missing my flight that was driving my urgency for cash; my guesthouse bill was also well over-due & I had no idea how I was going to eat that night let alone settle my accommodation fees.
Feeling completely defeated & exhausted, I went back to my guesthouse, explained to the owner that I didn’t have the money to pay her (she didn’t have the facilities to accept a card payment), & went back to my room feeling shameful. A couple of minutes later I heard a knock on my door. I opened it to find the guesthouse owner standing there with five 100 rupee notes in her hand. “Money comes & goes,” she said. “Please make sure that you take your dinner & make it to the airport for your flight,” & she forced the notes into my hand.’
This is as good an example of India’s world-class hospitability as any. Hospitability isn’t just about the destinations, the five or seven star hotels & the exquisite cuisines, it’s truly about the people & their attitude toward tourists.
Here’s another brilliant incident wherein an ordinary Indian stood up for a troubled tourist not only because he desired to help but also because he supported demonetisation –
- Matthew, a French tourist in Goa, had ordered a suit to be made. After demonetisation he realized that he was unable to pay the tailor.But his tailor, a small business owner with limited facilities, not only allowed him the option of paying with his credit card, but when that failed he simply gave Matthew the suit & told him to pay him ‘whenever he could.’Hishelp didn’t end there, the tailor also offered Matthew Rs. 2,000 in cash to help him.
Such instances makeone feel proud to be an Indian. This is the strength & sacrifice of the common Indian relying on which Prime Minister Modi took the demonetisation decision. His phrase ‘gareebokiameeri’has never proven so true as it has in the last 50 days! The common man of India needs to be congratulated for showing resilience & accepting personal strife for the betterment of the country. This is the real secret behind the success of demonetisation!