Dangers of traveling in India
Posted April 29, 2004
PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!
Dawn Gibbs arrived at Delhi international airport and got a pre-paid taxi to take her to the Brahmakumari ashrama there. She never made it - the taxi driver murdered her in an attempt to rob her. He then paid someone Rs.10 to clean the car of the blood, returned to the pre-paid taxi stand and then returned home to sleep, where the Police caught him. India, despite the superficial coverings of what is considered civilization, remains a very dangerous and cruel place as Dawn Gibbs found out. The dangers of a Westerner traveling alone in India cannot be underestimated - especially for women.
One time in Vrndavana 1974, Srila Prabhupada was giving the evening class. He could not see a particular disciple among the assembled devotees and asked where she was. On being told she had gone to Loi Bazar, Srila Prabhupada said that women should not go out alone and they should not go out at night.
Although women are certainly more at risk, men are not excluded the dangers of a Westerner in India. HH Indradyumna wrote how he had to run away from a taxi he got at Delhi airport when it took him in the wrong direction into a very unsavory area. While Maharaja was able to quickly grab his bags and run away, Dawn Gibbs could not.
We beg the community of Vaisnavas to please not travel alone or travel in a taxi where the driver is not recommended or known. This includes airport pre-paid taxis. Serious security lapses - the standard practice - were operating in the Dawn Gibbs case and there is no reason to think this will change.
Below are the email and other addresses for the ISKCON Mayapur, Vrndavana and Delhi temples. Please contact them or the other devotees living in these places and ask them to book your taxi with drivers who they know and who are known. You can ask that the driver to have a signboard with your name on it. May Lord Nrsinghadeva protect you all!!
Unfortunately the email contact given on the Mayapur website for taxis is not being maintained so well. You can contact the Mayapur guesthouse at email@example.com at the time of making your booking and ask for their help. Otherwise you can contact a devotee you know who is living there.
Mayapur devotee business: Prem Caitanya das, 91-3472-245-047 (shop) 245-124 (home) (He has a deluxe Tata Sumo - any other car will be booked from outside).
Email: ISKCON.firstname.lastname@example.org Attention: Parsada dd. She downloads messages every morning and is happy to assist the devotees with taxi bookings.
Phone: 91-565-254-0343 between 10am - 1pm - Attention: Parsada dd or Information Center - 91-565-254-0275 between 5 - 8pm Indian time - Attention: Parsada dd or Sanjay Sharma.
Vrndavana devotee business: email@example.com 91-565-254-0518, 0832 or 0014 (shop) 254-0539 (home) Fax 24 hours: 254-0831 Attention: Dwarikanath das (He has selected drivers who he feels confident using).
DELHI TEMPLE GUESTHOUSE:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 91-11-26235133-37 (ask for Neel Sunder, Manager Guesthouse) Fax: 91-11-2621-5421.
Yours in the service of the devotees,
Vaisnavi Asraya Inc. (www.vaisnavi.org)