Aurangabad, June 9:
We had seen people cursing the situations on sustaining losses (on the personal or professional front) during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we have come across tourist guides, who despite becoming jobless due to the closure of monuments for the past many months, did not prefer to curse the situation. Instead, they explored alternatives and converted the situation into an opportunity utilising their guiding experience for survival. The proverbial saying ' Koshish karne walo ki har nahi hoti.' proves to be true in their cases.
Says the 57-year-old Amod Basole, " I am conducting online trips for students of foreign universities in Australia, America, and other countries. A Chennai-based tour company, which works for a foreign-based organisation Urban Immersion, has hired me to conduct live interviews online. Prior to lockdown, I was attending the guests of Chennai's tour company. My reputation helped to get the new assignment. It is a new experience for me. In the past couple of days, I had conducted live interactions with a farmer from Ellora, kids of Asia's biggest slum-Dharavi (Mumbai), and today interacted with dignitaries of Goa, etc. through zoom meeting. While witnessing the live conversation, the foreign students ask questions to the interviewing person (through me) and then I translate back to the person's reply in English to the students. I conversate with the interviewing persons in our local language (Hindi or Marathi)."
Basole underlines the person to be interviewed is shortlisted by researching team of Chennai's company or else they ask me to identify the genuine person (if the subject of discussion could be related locally). The foreign-based organisation regularly conducts student leadership programme for university and high school students to sensitise them about social, economical, and financial issues. Actually, they conduct on-site training, but due to lockdown, the online trips are conducted.
Basole also mentioned that during the last year, he guided the students of a school in Amravati online (zoom meeting through mobile). He explained to them the world-famous rock-cut Kailas Temple at Ellora Caves.
Adds another 46-year-old tourist guide Ajit Kulkarni, " Being a postgraduate in Maths, I joined a coaching institute which conducts classes for students preparing for entrance test to various courses in the Indo German Tool Room (IGTR, Aurangabad). During a couple of months-long online classes, I am teaching Mathematics, while my colleague Amod Basole is teaching Chemistry subjects to the aspirants. My guiding experience and educational background is helping me in present tasks. Besides, I had also kept myself engaged by taking petty contracts relating to plumbing, painting, electricity, carpenter, etc on a household basis so that I could generate some income source during the past one and a half year."
Both of them are qualified tourist guides registered with the office of India Tourism (Aurangabad). The trade license permits them to guide tourists at any monument in the Western Zone comprising Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, and Goa (five states).