Russian tourists in Goa once known for their arrogant behavior now seem to have become munnabhais and doing the Gandhigiri in Goa. The Russian tourists have been spotted washing the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and garlanding it in Pernem, Goa. In fact, it is the job of Pernem Municipality to maintain the status of national heroes, yet the gardens are in shambles since more than 8-10 years.

The Russians have become an integral part of the tourism industry in Goa for the past decade. The Russians are the major holidayers in Goa. Although they may not be generating the amount of revenue that otherwise would have generated by Brits but at some point of time, the survival of Goa’s tourism industry had remained dependent on Russian tourists coming to the state. But despite that many instances of the Russians creating nuisance in the state kept coming in the media which resulted in creating a bad name for them. But now the reports of Gandhigiri which is appearing in the media may result in changing the perspective of the people.

According to the news published in the local daily Herald, following the beach cleaning work was done by the Canadian tourists now the Russian tourists are playing the role of Munnabhais in the north Goa. According to the sources, the Russian tourists residing in the north coastal belts have washed the statue of Mahatma Gandhi which was covered with the dirt and bird litter. The Russians in Goa took this new initiative after they spotted the statue of Mahatma Gandhiji placed in the garden near  Bhagavati temple in Pernem was covered with the dirt and bird litter.


According to the sources, without any delay, the Russian tourist brought water from a nearby shop and started cleaning the dirt accumulated on the state of Mahatma Gandhi. The tourist was assisted by her companions. Later, she bought a fresh garland and adorned the statue with it and left. This shows the amount of respect they have for the father of our nation. According to the sources, Russians were always close to Indian tradition and politics and in the past also Indian foreign policies had shown close ties with the Russians. The Russian tourists’ respect for Gandhi is an example of Gandhi’s worldwide appeal.

It may be recalled that Last month, a group of Canadian tourists had cleaned up the Pernem beaches, conveying the message that they come to Goa not just for enjoyment, but they do care for the State’s well-being. There are three gardens in Pernem; one has a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the second that of Dr. Ambedkar and the third has late Mashelkar’s. All these three gardens are within the jurisdiction of Pernem Municipal Council. Though it is the responsibility of the municipality to maintain them, yet the gardens are in shambles since more than 8-10 years. The Ambedkar garden is located near St Joseph High School and it is a favorite place for children and elderly. But now no one visits the garden except on the birth and death anniversaries of Ambedkar, said the sources.      

Meanwhile, Pernem residents had opined that the gardens have been created only for namesake and statue of these great leaders are erected to pay them lip-service. “Maintaining the gardens named after these great leaders is only secondary; the primary objective of creating these gardens were to propagate the message of these leaders to the new generations. But sadly, these leaders are remembered only on their birth or death anniversaries,” he decried. 


Meanwhile, the blame game began when media contacted the deputy chairperson of Pernem Municipal Council Mr. Upendra Deshprabhu, he revealed that the Goa Tourism has undertaken renovation work of Gandhi garden and Mashelkar garden. As for the Ambedkar garden, he said, a tender has been floated by GSUDA and the work on the same would be taken up as soon as the tender is approved.     

Blaming the previous council for the poor condition of the gardens in the town, Deshprabhu said that the previous council did not maintain the gardens regularly.  “Now, once these gardens are renovated, the municipality will maintain them by appointing a gardener. Also, the status of Mahatma Gandhi will be shifted from its current location garden to Mashekar Garden,” he added.

The response of the concerned authorities seems to be highly embarrassing and irresponsible but there is no way out since even the local MLA seems not bothered about the development of the place and it shows in the way of working. Whereas the stakeholders of the tourism industry talk about getting more business, basic amenities in the state still remains in the highly pathetic condition in the state.



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