Chandigarh, a Union Territory (UT) Administration in India, is hoping that training its tourist police in English and French languages will bridge the communication gap and bring in more tourists to the region. Chandigarh, which is called The City Beautiful, is the capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab, located at the country’s northern section. The city is a union territory and therefore ruled by the Union Government of India directly. It is not a part of the states where it serves as their capital.
Tourists from France
Many tourists from France come to Chandigarh to explore the beautiful city that was designed by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, also known as Le Corbusier, who was a Swiss-French urban planner, designer and architect. The city is actually very popular due to its urban design and its architecture. Most of the French tourists do not speak any English at all, thus the city administration is now having a group of 30 city police officers trained in English and French to act as tourist police to help foreign visitors.
Domestic tourists on the other hand who come from other parts of India do not speak Hindi although they can speak English. The most common language in Chandigarh is Punjabi, which is spoken by nearly half of its population. Others speak Hindi while the younger generation speaks a bit of English, and has created words combining Hindi and English.
The language training program was launched on July 1 by Anurag Aggarwal, the UT Home Secretary at the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management in Sector 42.
According to Shashi Kapoor, who was a guest lecturer at the language workshop, it will be a challenge for them to teach the police officers. They come from the interior areas of Pubjab and Haryana and mainly speak Punjabi and Hindi and very little English, thus they will have to conduct the training in the two prevailing languages.
Ekta Nayyar, an assistant lecturer said that there will be five instructors who will teach the police officers about grooming, personality development and how to deal with foreign visitors. They will also be taught methods on how to deal with complaints, basic etiquette and ethics in the workplace, as well as teach them about image building, which is one of the purposes of the program – to build the city’s image and encourage more tourist arrivals.
They will be taught basic phrases in French and in English to help them build their confidence in speaking with foreign nationals and encourage rapport. Participants will receive lectures and practical training, giving them scenarios so that they will know how to handle different situations. They will also be taught inter-personal skills.
At the end of the training, the workshop participants will be asked to give verbal feedback rather than take a test.