Except for the seasoned veterans, a large majority of international travelers are setting foot in the country the first time. Frequently based on hearsay, they proceed to visit India with a sense of trepidation; while many of their misgivings about this ancient land may just be a figment of their often overworked imagination, but alas, some of their worries may indeed be based on sound logic or on reliable information. In many such cases, their foreboding may actually come true with horrific consequences; even if such an outcome does not take place, still the country is likely to have lost a valuable visitor forever. In view of this, it is exceedingly important that every potential visitor is conscientized in advance about the likely pitfalls, and about a possible safe way out of any such possibility.
Though Indian economy has made rapid strides in recent years, but still the benefits have not percolated down to the lowest rungs of the society. As such, where ever you go, you are sure to be confronted with hordes of beggars, specially child beggars or women with toddlers in their arms. Often, the sight of small children beseeching, may be very unsettling for an overseas visitor from developed countries. Unfortunately, many of these manifestly pathetic characters are more likely to be members of begging gangs, with a large percentage of their ‘earnings’ swiped by the ring leaders. Therefore, even at the cost of appearing heartless, it is advisable to pay no heed and walk away.
While travelling through India, a sudden loss of one’s luggage or other valuables may be very upsetting, even to the extent of being forced to cut short the visit. However, this is a probability staring your back at every step as your slightest laxity may prove costly.
- As a general practice, ignore all unsolicited intruders, even if they appear to be friendly or helpful.
- Unfortunately, general politeness is less likely to win friends; instead, learn to say a ringing ‘NO’ in emphatic terms, whenever one tries to persist or intrude on your privacy.
- Despite all precautions, if you still find yourself in a soup, don’t hesitate to create a scene to safeguard your privacy, or your personal belongings or your personal physical safety. While there are wolves galore on an individual basis, but fortunately, India as a society innately hates people who try to exploit harried strangers, more so if the victim is a woman.