A shift is taking place. For years nothing happened except a worsening of a bad situation. I had started to wonder if there was any hope. I love India and have pledged the last 20 years of my life to promoting it far and wide but it was almost too much for me to bear. Then, when certain destinations had almost driven me to despair, I made a visit to Jaipur, one of the worst offenders. It was different, the change was not only noticeable it was palpable, the city which had embarrassed me beyond belief whilst traveling with agents last GITB seemed to have redeemed itself.
Could this really be?
Had it really happened?
Was it just a fluke?
I travelled from the airport, into the city, out to Kukas back into the old town and even out to the cargo area only to find consistency. It seemed to have happened, it’s streets were clean, yes clean!! No piles of garbage, trash, rubbish, litter whatever you want to call it, they had all gone. This city which was to be next on my hit list had redeemed itself.
But was this a one off?
I then ventured around Delhi and found the same, even the the infamous grotty middle lane of Khan Market had undergone a transformation, it looked almost Mediterranean.
I began to feel hope.
However the real test was still to come, Varanasi. I hope you are sitting down, because you see, even here there was a marked improvement not just in the streets but in the state of the waters of Ma Ganga, or was my optimism starting to run away with me?
Onto Mumbai, an improvement, even in Agra, whilst not quite as good as the other remaining destinations, one could discern there had been effort.
Sadly the only destination which doesn’t seem to have been affected was Cochin, the area around the Chinese Fishing Nets was a dump, made more noticeable by the improvements in other cities.
Now I really don’t want to drag politics into the post, I know too little about politics in the UK never mind India, I am looking at this merely from a tourism perspective, but is this Swachh Bharat finally working? If so, then I finally applaud the scheme. A paradigm shift is happening and travel to India can only be better as a result.