Committed to the Welfare

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, shares his thoughts on UAE-India bilateral relations and his vision for the coming years

Published: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:02 AM

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India

As we celebrate the 75th Independence Day, I convey warm greetings to the people of the UAE and my fellow Indians here, who are our strength and have contributed immensely to the deep historic bond and friendship between India and the UAE. On this day, we remember the legacy of our freedom fighters and their values of non-violence and peace that continue to serve as a beacon for India, as it takes on an increasingly prominent role as a global leader. We also salute the valour of our defence forces for their utmost dedication to serving the nation.

I express my sincere gratitude to the UAE government for their tremendous support, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The bilateral ties between India and the UAE have further strengthened amid the pandemic, which was evident in the repatriation of Indian nationals during the 'Vande Bharat Mission' and the timely exchange of essential medical supplies and healthcare workers. We also offer our appreciation to the UAE Government for a very successful and all-inclusive vaccination programme that has benefited us all.

In the next two years, we would be commemorating India@75 ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' to celebrate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements through a series of cultural events and digital initiatives with participation from prominent Emirati and Indian community members.

This month, we also marked one year of initiating the ‘365 days service’ to the Indian Community, which was initiated by the Consulate to ease consular access for over 2.6 million strong Indian nationals residing in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. We remain committed to serving the large Indian diaspora, which happens to be the single largest group of Indian nationals being served by any diplomatic office of India. This vibrant Indian community is a ‘living bridge’ between the two countries, and have made invaluable contributions to the development of both countries. Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayta Kendra (PBSK), a welfare initiative of the Government of India (since 2010) to provide support to Indian expatriates in need has started operating from the Consulate’s premises, since last November, to make its services more accessible.

The Consulate has also initiated an upskilling programme for Indian blue-collar workers in the UAE, to provide them with a platform to enhance their soft and technical skills and improve their employability and productivity. The programme is being organised with collaborations from educational institutions and Indian community organisations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The first upskilling and training centre in the UAE was inaugurated by V Muraleedharan during his visit in January.

In the forthcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, the India Pavilion will be one of the largest pavilions and will showcase India’s opportunities in all sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, space, technology, culture, health and wellness. India's strength in innovation and startups will also be on display. Expo 2020 Dubai will be an apt platform for enhancing bilateral trade between India and the UAE as we will see strong participation from the state governments, Indian corporates and entrepreneurs. Several Indian festivities, which fall during this period, will be celebrated in a grand manner at the India Pavilion with artistes from India and significant representation from the Indian community members here. I invite all of you to experience India in all its glory at the India Pavilion, and also contribute to the legacy use of the pavilion, as India is one of the few countries which will be hosting a permanent pavilion, thanks to the gracious support of the UAE leadership.

Despite the challenging times over the past year, we remain committed to working with the local authorities and the Indian community members to attend to all concerns of Indians that have arisen out of the Covid-19 pandemic related restrictions. Towards this end, we welcome the recent announcements by the UAE Government on opening up of entry protocols to the UAE and hope for early resumption of regular flights.

On the 75th India Independence Day, I wish safe health and prosperity to one and all. Look forward to your active participation as we embark on this journey towards the milestone of 75 years of India’s Independence, which we will be celebrating next year. Jai Hind!

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