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Upcoming sainthood turns Mother Teresa brand into cash machine for local businesses while fueling the disgusting practice of poverty tourism.
The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) on Tuesday urged the West Bengal government to promote the state and its capital’s links to Mother Teresa for tourism opportunities.
“I would request the Bengal tourism department to promote Mother Teresa. In Europe, shrines built in memory of saints, who are not much popular worldwide, are promoted. Although Bengal is doing its bit to promote, it can do more,” IATO president Subash Goyal told the media here at the ‘Travel India 2016’ meet.
Mother Teresa will be canonized as saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 2016, the Vatican and the Missionaries of Charity announced recently.
For years, restaurants, Internet Cafes, Gift shops, Guest Houses and other businesses in Kolkata that have benefited directly by catering almost exclusively to the volunteers and visitors of The Missionaries of Charity have also become direct accomplices to the human rights violation perpetrated upon the poor of the city by this fraudulent organization on a daily basis.
Most of the volunteers who visit for a few days, snap some photos and then return home to boast about what great service they did for the needy of India are simultaneously hypocrites and egotistically self-serving.
The case of abuse and negligence by Mother Teresa’s ‘Missionaries of Charity’ is a delicate subject for the Indian government. Displays of Mother Teresa’s image can be found throughout Kolkata, her fame has undoubtedly resulted in more tourism dollars for the city of Kolkata in general than any other marketing campaign that has been created in the past. But when so many volunteers come through these houses and rarely notice the inescapable medical negligence and financial fraud, one has to wonder; was is it just tourism for many of them? And where exactly are the millions of dollars this organization receives in donations each year going to?
It is through awareness that we can make a difference and hold the Missionaries of Charity accountable for their medical negligence and financial fraud.
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