Hygiene at the Cost of Poor?


Pic source: http://www.mid-day.com

A statement made by Manohar Parrikar on hygiene is creating quite a stir on social media and public.Speaking on hygiene, the Chief minister of Goa claimed that the poor people should stay clean and that it costs less to stay clean, pointing out to the lack of hygiene, especially by street vendors hawking outside the state’s biggest medical facility there. Another report from Deccan Chronicle reported that Goa Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai lashed out at domestic tourists on Friday, calling them “scum of the earth” and alleging that “North Indians” are trying to “create a Haryana in Goa.”

Goa is a state that attracts thousands of tourists every year, with biggest carnivals and festivals that take place throughout the year. It is a vibrant and welcoming state with paradise beaches, old Portuguese churches and rich Goan culture that has many stories to tell. But the growing number of tourists to the small state has led to new restaurants, hotels and shopping zones popping up. Tourism brings great revenue to any country, so it is even in India where tourism is considered to be a big industry with continuous growth. Along with tourism promotion, the government also needs to keep in mind the responsibilities that come along with it as a host country.

There are always two sides to any problem. If any state faces problems due to excess amount of tourists received, throwing out the tourists or removing the local vendors alone would not solve the problem. Many tourists in Goa have faced problems, there have been many reports on murder of few women in the past and many people can often be scammed by the locals to extract more money from them. With the increasing population and dearth of job opportunities in our country, it has become very a daily thing to travel to different cities across states in look out for opportunities. Goa soon turned out to be a land of opportunities for artisans, restaurateurs and tourism industry. Soon the numbers started increasing and has somewhat lead to a chaos in the state.
It is not just the poor people who are at fault, it is the responsibility of the entire community to ensure a clean state. Everyone is an equal citizen and share equal rights which is why no one community or a group of people can be blamed for the hygiene issues in the state. The street vendors are poor people who have limited amount of money to be invested for his business, which is why he cannot afford to ensure proper hygiene and perfect place for his business. Evicting them from the state can impact tourism in Goa. The government should rather focus on proper planning and assigning a  separate place for all the street vendors. Hygiene in any country becomes an issue when the state is developed without any proper implementation of policies or planning. It is therefore, the duty of the state, government and the citizens to come together to ensure a hygienic environment for a happy and merry Goa.

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