#Demonetization – Is “Athiti Devo Bhava” not applicable anymore?

I have written in favor of demonetization of the currency notes before and I am still in favor of the step. There are some interesting incidents that made me happy about the whole process though people are facing problems. Different groups are coming forward to help the people who are lined up outside banks or ATMs. They are offering food and beverages, helping in filling up the forms etc. People like me who cannot help the people in queues are trying to guide every single person to open accounts, use eWallets and go cashless. I have solved queries of more than 50 people till date on different shops. It feels good.

But, there are so major issues as well. Still, there are no arrangements for the elderly and differently-abled. Also, what pinches me the most is that people are not at all considerate with the foreigners. There should have been counters on airports and in banks especially for foreigners who are in India to travel and enjoy the hospitality that we can offer. They have a good amount of cash with them which is also an issue due to the limit.

We are from a country where guests are considered equal to God. We believe in Atithi Devo Bhava. Our culture teaches us to share food and shelter with the guest. How can we be so inconsiderate for these guests then? I humbly request to the Government of India to take extra measures for the tourists so that they can enjoy the country in the way it is meant to be. Please do not let the tourism suffer during the process of cleaning black money.

Some suggestions for the government:

  • Some banks can open a special counter for foreigners in selected branches say near monuments or airports.
  • Special money exchange counters on all international airports near the baggage counters.
  • Allow all embassy offices to exchange old cash from foreigners.
  • The government can also issue special prepaid cards in exchange of currency if there is a shortage of notes.

Requests to Indians:

I know there are a lot of problems that we are facing. If you find any foreigner in distress situation help him/her. Exchange some amount of their notes. Help them with the process in the bank. Pay for them with your card. They will remember your gesture and will readily help any Indian in their country. It is not about the problems we are facing. It is about the guests we are hosting. Remember, we believe in Atithi Devo Bhava and we cannot let any guest down. Be together, help everyone.

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