MTDC staff pools in from their own pockets, helps Russian tourist exchange notes

Updated: Nov 18, 2016, 11:17 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation's staff helped out a Russian tourist and his family, desperate to exchange notes by pooling in smaller change from their own pockets

Ilya Cheremisin, identified by The MTDC staffers on Facebook

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) knows how to walk the talk on the Atithi Devo Bhava slogan. Its staff helped out a Russian tourist and his family, desperate to exchange notes, on November 9, by pooling in smaller change from their own pockets.

Ilya Cheremisin (32) from Moscow arrived with his wife and 2-year-old son on November 8, and converted roubles into Rs 70,000. The very night, the PM plunged the country into a cash crisis.

Cheremisin was left penniless, despite having Rs 70,000 on him — all in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. He approached the Russian Consulate, but having received no instruction in the wake of the sudden crisis, the authorities allegedly couldn’t help him out. Cheremisin then went out onto the streets, and asked passers-by for help.

Balu Haridharan, Tularam Yendhe, Satish Soni and Vrushali JoshiBalu Haridharan, Tularam Yendhe, Satish Soni and Vrushali Joshi

When he reached the MTDC office in Churchgate, he repeated his plea. Moved by his plight — he said he couldn’t even afford food for his 2-year-old — MTDC staff, led by Vrushali Joshi and Tularam Yendhe and clerk Balu Haridharan, collected Rs 4,000 in Rs 100 notes from amongst themselves and exchanged them with the notes he had, said Satish Soni, director of tourism, MTDC.

mid-day reached out to Cheremisin on social media, but there was no response.

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