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Delhi most unsafe for foreigners, reveals NCRB data

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New Delhi: Delhi is among the most unsafe places for foreigners in India with 164 cases of heinous crimes registered here in 2014, the latest data released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has revealed. Of the 164 foreigners targeted, 135 were tourists.2015-08-20_2224_001
Goa follows close on the heels of the national capital with 73 cases, while Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan follow with 66, 59 and 36 cases respectively.

The cases pertain to crimes like murder, attempt to murder, rape, molestation, kidnapping, robbery, cheating, forgery and theft.

Out of the total 486 cases of crime against foreigners registered in India, 384 crimes were against tourists, while in 102 cases foreigners here on business visa or for other work were targeted.

Tour operator Anil Kanthale told IANS: “Many women tourists say they do not want to visit Delhi as they find it insecure. But the situation was not so bad before the December 16, 2012 gang rape incident.”

“The gang rape case has damaged Delhi’s reputation as a safe-for-tourists city. A rape-cum-robbery case with a Danish woman in January this year also spread a sense of insecurity among foreign tourists,” he said.

When contacted, top police officials were tight-lipped over the issue.

“If any crime takes place in the city, everyone targets the police. I accept that it’s our responsibility to provide a secure environment to those living in Delhi, but most of the crimes occur when victims are not careful about their safety,” a police officer told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The officer also said that foreigners are easily targeted as they are not familiar with the city.

“We take every case against any foreigner on a priority basis and try to solve it as soon as possible by arresting the criminal. We also ensure the safety of every foreigner,” the officer added.

Goa is the second most unsafe place with 73 cases of crime against foreigners, including 66 cases in which tourists were affected.
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Uttar Pradesh with 66 cases, including 64 tourists, is on third position.

Maharashtra saw 59 such cases, including 25 tourists and 34 other foreigners living there, being registered followed by Rajasthan with 36 cases, including 31 tourists.

States where no crime against foreigners was registered are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram and Odisha registered only one case each. Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana were among the states where only two cases of crimes against foreigners each were registered.

Apart from Delhi, Puducherry and Chandigarh were the only two Union Territories where foreigners were attacked, with seven and two cases, respectively.

However, there was not a single crime case against any foreigner in the remaining four Union Territories.

“Of the total 486 cases of crime against foreigners, 260 cases were of robbery, followed by 39 cases of molestation and 22 cases of rape,” the NCRB data said.

It said that five foreigners, including four tourists, were killed in India while four were attacked for the purpose of murder.

The NCRB data said that three foreigners were kidnapped in 2014.

(IANS)

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Tourism Benefits Tribes, Boosts Economies, Creates Jobs for Native Americans

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes millions of vacationers from at home and abroad

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americans, tourism, economies
This undated photo shows a Yavapai tour guide speaking with a group of visitors to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Maricopa County, Arizona. Courtesy: AIANTA VOA

By: Cecily Hilleary

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes millions of vacationers from at home and abroad. Travel experts cite growing interest in Native American tourism, “authentic” cultural exchanges with tribes beyond gambling at tribal casinos.

Native tourism can be beneficial to tribes, boosting economies, creating jobs and allowing Native communities to control their own historic narratives. But tourism has its drawbacks, and some tribes have found that pleasing tourists while maintaining their cultural identity can be challenging.

americans, tourism, economies
This September 9, 2018 photo shows dancers at a pow wow, part of Indian Summer Festival, which takes place each year on the weekend after Labor Day in Milwaukee, Wi. Courtesy: AIANTA VOA

In 2016, the most recent year for which there are statistics, 1.95 million international tourists visited U.S. Indian reservations, supporting more than 44,000 jobs.

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), a national organization that helps Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tribes and communities to advance tourism, projects the number of international visitors to U.S. reservations will rise to 2.4 million by 2020.

“People want to learn the real stories from the people who have lived them,” said AIANTA spokesperson Monica Poling. “So, rather than bringing in a non-Native tour guide to recount a history they don’t have an attachment to, our tribal members are involved in developing and crafting their own stories,” she said.

americans, tourism, economies
Memorial to the 1838 Trail of Tears at the Cherokee Heritage Centre in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. VOA

Some tribes, like the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, already have well-developed programs that include museums, cultural centers and guided tours to landmarks and historic sites. Cherokee National Day, an annual commemoration of the signing of the Cherokee’s Constitution in 1839, attracts as many as 100,000 visitors each year.

But others, particularly those located in poor, rural areas, are hard-pressed to meet tribe members’ needs, let alone build up tourism.

economies, tourism, americans
In a Friday, July 20, 2012, photo, from the left; Tricia Bear Eagle, Helen Red Feather, Rudell Bear Shirt and Edward Jealous Of Him, all of Wounded Knee, S.D., wait for tourists near the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservati. VOA

Ivan Sorbel, executive director of the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce, says the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota, has much to offer tourists: casinos, visitor centers, a heritage center dedicated to the arts, historic sites and incredible scenery.

“But we don’t have the infrastructure to support big numbers of visitors,” he said.“We have one motel and one casino hotel, but they offer limited beds and couldn’t accommodate large tour groups for overnight stays.”

Expanded tourism, he said, would also strain the reservation’s road system and water supply.

“But given the increasing interest in Native travel, we’re looking forward to growing this sector in the near future,” said Sorbel.

economies, americans, tourism
The landscape of the Badlands boasts a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires, with sedimentary rock layers exposed by eons of erosion. VOA

Contrived culture?

Tourism can sometimes have a negative impact on tribes. Some studies suggest that encounters between tribes and tourists may be too brief to significantly change non-Natives’ preconceived notions about American Indians.

Tribes may stage artificial culture by dressing up in inauthentic regalia, setting up tipis or passing off cheap souvenirs as “genuine” Native crafts.

economies, tourism, americans
A vendor wheels her cart of souvenirs before the start of the North American Indian Days parade on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Mont., Saturday, July 14, 2018. VOA

“If the best you can do is to dress up and show visitors what people looked like 200 years ago, to my way of thinking you have already failed,” said Sara Mathuin, the owner of Go Native America, who for 20 years has conducted small tours in Indian Country for international visitors and says she has “seen it all.”

Many tourists, in her experience, developed an interest in Native Americans through the “New Age” movement.

“They choose what elements of the culture they like and meld it all together to create a religion that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the real Native America.”

tourism, americans, economies
Dancers and a tipi at the European Rainbow Gathering in Bosnia, 2007. New age movements and Indian “hobbiests” have appropriated many elements of Native American cultures and spirituality. VOA

A good tour, said Mathuin, focuses on human similarities, not human differences. Tourists are less likely to appropriate from those they’ve gotten to know personally.

Tourists sometimes cross boundaries or fail to show respect for their host cultures — crashing religious ceremonies, for example, or picking up artifacts.

“I have friends on Pine Ridge who say (some European tourists) don’t even bother to knock on front doors,” said Mathuin. “They just open the front door and say, ‘Can I have a look around?’”

Tourists can also wreak havoc on the environment and strain water and energy supplies.

tourism, economies, americans
This undated photo provided by the U.S. National Park Service shows toilet paper strewn throughout Death Valley National Park, Calif. National parks across the United States are scrambling to clean up and repair damage caused by visitors and storms. VOA

Despite the potential drawbacks, Mathuin believes when done right, tourism can benefit tribes tremendously. And “doing it right” doesn’t require fancy facilities or play-acting.

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“All it requires are people and knowledge,” she said. “In the end, it’s all about the stories.” (VOA)

Cecily Hilleary is a journalist at Voice of America. Twitter: @CecilyHilleary