Monday, August 16, 2010

Delhi Bus and Auto Drivers Ready to Welcome Tourists

Venues may not be ready but according to the authorities, Delhi’s bus and auto drivers are more than ready to welcome the hordes of tourists for the Commonwealth Games 2010. As part of the run-up to the Delhi Games, the city’s ambassador’s bus drivers, police personnel, auto wallahs, immigration officials and tourist guides have been put through intensive training so that they can put their best foot forward. The training, given by various agencies including the Delhi Police, tourism ministry and the Delhi government, is basically along the lines of imparting communication skills and etiquette.

Agencies involved in the training claim a majority of the training has already taken place. Said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson for the Delhi Police, ‘‘Around 7,500 personnel have already undergone training for the Commonwealth Games. Another 6,200 new recruits will be trained. All will be ready before the Games.’’ It is not just the police claiming all is well. Delhi government too says more than 8,000 auto wallahs have been given training for the Games already a fact that may be belied by the ground situation. The transport department, however, insists that both bus drivers and auto wallahs are undergoing training, with the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) giving etiquette lessons to more than 6,000 drivers.

It is not just drivers and police personnel polishing up for the Commonwealth Games. The tourism ministry, which had launched a scheme to train tourist guides and enable them to have licenses, says the training is going on as per schedule. In fact, its training programme for immigration officials has already been concluded. Said a senior ministry official, ‘‘Being the first point of interaction for the tourists, immigration officials create the first impression about the country and its people. Therefore, they should maintain a tourist friendly approach and a smiling face all the time.’’ The training incidentally, touches on appearance, deportment, alertness, sensitivity, and general behavior. Added the official, ‘‘The officials work in a very tough environment having duty shifts of 12 hours without off duty time, but they are the public face of Incredible India. So special efforts were taken to update them.’’

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