Atithi Devo Bhava: Portal helps out stranded foreign visitors

Kriti Mishra

Corona: Foreign tourists in India are seeking help on the  portal

Corona: Foreign tourists in India are seeking help on the portal

More and more foreign tourists in India are seeking help on the  portal.

The Tourism Ministry launched the portal on March 31 to identify and assist foreign tourists stranded in various parts of India due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

So far 769 foreign tourists have registered on it.

State Governments and Union Territories have identified a Nodal Officer each to assist these foreign tourists.

The five Regional Offices of the Ministry of Tourism are coordinating with these Nodal Officers to provide ground support to them.

Requests for movement within the country or state and for transfer to home country are being coordinated with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and the respective Embassy, High Commission and Consulates.

The stranded tourists are being provided information updates on flights out of India to their home countries. Wherever required, they have been provided medical assistance, food and accommodation.

Among the tourists is an American citizen stranded in Supaul district of Bihar whose son is undergoing surgery at Delhi. The portal facilitated coordination among the various authorities and secured her a special transit-permit to travel to Delhi.

Two Costa Rican citizens, who came to Chennai for surgery, were stranded in the city after the surgery. Close coordination with the State Government, the Costa Rican Embassy and their hotel helped soothe frayed nerves of the tourists who are now safe and well.

Similarly, an Australian tourist, who was stranded in Ahmedabad with his family, ran out his epilepsy medication. The portal managed to help him reach the District Collector’s office where he was provided the medication, food and local transportation.

In the coming days, the government sees a greater role for the portal in ensuring the well being of foreign guests in the country.