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Chennai: I will continue begging, says tourist

Posted October 13th, 2017, 11:38 AM IST

Chennai: I will continue begging, says tourist

Chennai: The Russian tourist, Evgenii Berdnikov, ‘rescued’ by the police and sent to Chennai after he sought alms at a Kancheepuram temple on Tuesday says he would continue begging and has no immediate plans to leave the country. DC found the man with another tourist on South Boag road in T Nagar. It seemed that the foreign national is not in any distress as feared initially

Russian consulate in Chennai had earlier told the media that he had not contacted them and that they will assist him in a proper way if he contacts them.

When asked as to why he has not contacted the Russian consulate in Chennai as suggested by the cops, Evgenii replied that they would be of no help to him and he wants to travel. His visa expires on November 22.

While military tensions prevail between Russia and Ukraine, the person Evgenii befriended on reaching the city on Wednesday is a Ukranian, Andre, with whom he was loitering on the city streets. They were returning after visiting a temple in T Nagar. “I came with 8 USD and 50 Euros (approximately Rs 4,000),” Eugene claimed demanding one hundred rupees from people who recognize him from the news reports and approach him.

The Russian tourist said that he had exhausted the very little money he had. “I will continue asking people for money,” Evgenii said, adding that he has plans to visit Bengaluru next.

The 24-year-old man has no purpose of the visit and is of the free-spirited kind. “I just want to travel,” was all he said when asked about his reasons to visit India. He has the flags of the countries he has visited inked on his right arm- China, Thailand, Cambodia and most recently that of India.

Expressing genuine surprise that India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about him, the 24-year-old pointed out that the minister got his name wrong. “Evangelin - Your country Russia is our time-tested friend. My officials in Chennai will provide you all help” the minister had tweeted.