Protecting our heritage

I visited a few countries in the last couple of months. During my travel, I found how other countries are protecting their heritage sites and welcoming visitors to their tourist sites. It not only generates income for the country but also helps in popularizing the culture of that particular place. When the visitors go back to their own places they are sure to describe their visit and the facilities available to their friends and relatives. This word of mouth advertisement helps in promoting tourism much more than any pamphlet or agency. What is it that a visitor looks forward to while visiting such places? Cleanliness and hygiene are the two important things that come to my mind. The place should be clean and good rest room facilities should be available. It should be children and elder friendly. If there is provision for the differently abled then that is a huge bonus.

It is here that many places abroad score over our country. India is blessed with a wonderful heritage and culture. Go to any part of the country and every monument you see there speaks so much about the history of the place and its people. But I feel sad when I see these beautiful structures vandalized, people scribbling with nails and pens or other sharp instruments, throwing empty juice cartons or chips covers all over the place and I am filled with revulsion and also sadness. Imagine how a visitor would feel. I feel these are things our schools should be telling the children. We have to inculcate pride in our culture, in our national treasures. Teachers, parents and all of us interested in the future of our nation should make it a point to talk to our children about these things. Swatcch Bharat is not a campaign run on the streets alone. If each one of us takes it to heart and educate people and this includes our children, our workforce, people like our maids and drivers, then the message will go well. It cannot happen in a day. It takes some time but atleast we have made a beginning. People outside are so proud of their treasures, this feeling that it is all ours should be there within each one of us. We have to take responsibility and care for our rivers, beaches, waterbodies and any other natural and manmade tourist spots. I hope you all agree.

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