"Atithi devo bhava" everybody in Nepal knows the meaning of this famous quote in Sanskrit which states guests are like our god. This is so true in the context of Nepal since a major portion of the country’s revenue comes from the tourism industry. We are now on the verge of celebrating Tourism year 2011 with plans to bring in millions of tourists the same year. At the same time; due to the indefinite strike our strangled guests are begging for food and accommodation at small motels and teashops at the famous tourists hubs of Nepal. Recently the news was being aired that tourists were compelled to live on stale rotis and tarkari at pokhara and the local administration was unable to address their problems.
Not only during the period of strike but at other occasions too tourists have to go through pitiful conditions and facilities in Nepal where ‘Atithi devo bhava’ holds so much a meaning. Few days ago, I was on my way to lamjung and at dumre, a tourist couple followed by a mob with strong smell of alcohol coming from them entered our bus. The mob wasn’t allowing other people even to look at the tourist couple and they were bargaining with the couple for the busfare. The couple looked really frightened and they were compelled to pay the group about three times the actual busfare. They seated beside me and then I asked them, ‘ Who were those people?’ Then the male one of the couple said ‘I don’t know, arent they the bus staff?’ which made me realise they were the local brokers making money by nagging these people.