As India has been under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, international and domestic tourists are stuck wherever they are. To help those stranded travellers, Shubham Dharmsktu, a travel filmmaker from Uttarakhand, has been lending a helping hand. So far, he managed to assist over 300 foreigners who were stuck in Vizag, Goa, Delhi, Banaras, and other places in the country.
It all started a few days before Janata Curfew when Shubham was in Jaisalmer along with his friends from France. After interacting with a few foreigners in the city, he found that most of them are stuck because the hotels were closing. He also witnessed how the international tourists were falsely accused of spreading the coronavirus and were being called names by a section of the natives.
Looking at the situation, he decided to help as many foreigners as possible. A day before Janata Curfew, he gathered the foreigners and got them to Delhi after they tested negative for the coronavirus. The real challenge was in Delhi as they were refused accommodation. Despite calling several hotels, many were apprehensive of having foreigners.
As luck would have it, a hostel, in the capital city, opened its doors to them. Shubham, and his group of tourists, have made the hostel their base until normalcy restores in the country. These tourists are from Spain, England, the Czech Republic, France, South Africa, and Sweden.
When asked about the measures they are taking to prevent the disease, Shubham replied that the hostel is spacious enough which facilitates them to observe social distancing. He further mentioned that doctors from the respective embassies keep coming to the hostel to keep a tab on the tourists’ health.
Describing a typical day at the hostel, post the announcement of the lockdown in India, Shubham said that their day begins with a healthy breakfast served by the staff. To keep their spirits up, he shared that they cook at least one meal, a day. Apart from having a healthy diet, the members are taking part in yoga and Zumba sessions to stay fit.
He shared that around 60 tourists have been successfully evacuated from Delhi Airport as well. Apart from ensuring that they receive a decent accommodation, Shubham is also lending monetary support, from his savings and partly through crowdfunding.
Taking a step ahead, he further shared his contact number on his Instagram page to reach out to as many people as he can. Ever since then, he has been receiving at least 150 calls per day. Also, seven people from Indonesia, stranded in Vizag, received temporary accommodation with Shubham’s help.
The travel filmmaker is helping Indians stuck abroad too. Through the Filipinos, who are currently staying with him, he has recently arranged accommodation for a few Indians stranded in the Philippines. As of now, the 26-year-old is trying his best to facilitate accommodation to over a thousand students from Ukraine. To make this possible, he’s seeking the support of the Indian Embassy in that country.
As Shubham Dharmsktu continues his quest to help the tourists, we admire his efforts and wish him all the best. In the face of adversities, stories like these reflect the power of humanity.