Local residents of Indore city are set to offer complementary home stays to their NRI guests that will attend Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023 in spite of a rise in Covid cases.
Indore’s businessman Dheeraj Lulla is busy decorating his house and getting customised accessories for his US-based NRI guest Bharat Mandhyani. He has arranged a full-time driver, attendant and a doctor to ensure his comfortable, healthy and hassle-free stay while attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2023. Dheeraj and his wife Priya will also be hosting live barbeque sessions and a city tour during his seven-day stay.
The Lulla family is aware of the rise in Covid cases, but they do not want to miss a chance to share love and warmth. “Love and personal attention is what most of my NRI friends crave for. We have made all the necessary arrangements to ensure safety of my guest and the family,” says Dheeraj.
Like him, there are almost 100 Indorians who will provide complementary home stays to 150 Indian Diasporas. This is a part of an initiative ‘Padharo Mhare Ghar’ taken by local governing body-Indore Development Authority (IDA).
IDA has also launched an app “Atithi Devo Bhavah” to connect host with guests. “We have tried to bring together the host and the guest who have something in common like work profile, community, food preference or a hobby. Then we connected them through phone and video call before giving a final nod,” says Jaypal Singh Chavda, Chairman of IDA.
India reported an average of 203 Covid cases per day last week. The cases have increased by 33% from the average two weeks ago. A total of eight cases were reported in Indore in the last one week out of which six had returned from foreign countries. The infected included two girls from the US, and four NRIs from Australia. However, most of them have recovered.
According to researchers, the BF.7 variant is faster and stronger in its ability to infect, but less severe in its lethality. This is one of the important reasons the locals are not sceptical about opening their homes to the Indian Diaspora. “I am a doctor, and have treated hundreds of patients affected by Covid-19. I am updated with the current Coronavirus trend, and very excited to welcome my guest who I will be meeting for the first time,” says Dr. Hema Patel.
The live PBD convention is happening after a gap of four years, as this biennial event was last organised in a virtual setting in the year 2021 due to Covid pandemic.
The locals are very excited to host Indian Diaspora and are working every day to make sure they are ready. The team of 4-10 IDA officials reviewed the applications of hosts, interviewed them, inspected their houses and conducted a training session on their roles. Police officials have registered names of the hosts and guests for the home stay. They will provide ‘A’ grade security to all the NRI guests and will make frequent visits to local homes to assure safety.