Indian expats laud outgoing diplomat Vipul as community champion
After a three-year tenure, Vipul is set to leave Dubai with his family on a Vande Bharat Mission flight on July 7.
Indian business and community leaders across the UAE on Wednesday praised the outgoing Consul-General of India to Dubai, Vipul, for his achievements in strengthening UAE-India ties and bringing the community together.
After a three-year tenure, Vipul is set to leave Dubai with his family on a Vande Bharat Mission flight on July 7. He will join the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.
Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu Group, said: "As the Consul-General of India, Vipul was greatly instrumental in further cementing India's relationship with the UAE and I have personally witnessed his close relationship with the rulers of Northern Emirates and with the large Indian diaspora. We all have seen his valuable intervention to help the community during difficult situations, especially during the pandemic outbreak."
He added: "His efforts in sending the mortal remains of the deceased back to India or his assistance in helping illegal residents without proper travel documents, he always worked closely with the Indian community. I remember his smiling face during his speeches and interactions which reflects his clean heart. The Indian community in the UAE will greatly miss him and I wish him all success in his new assignment."
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare said, "Vipul has been a major driving force for improving the ties between India and UAE as the Consul General of India in Dubai. He ensured that the Indian community here lives harmoniously and plays a key role in the development of UAE."
Dr Moopen added, "His active interventions for support of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic recently was commendable. Aster had the privilege to work closely with him on various initiatives, especially in the area of corporate social responsibility during his tenure here. He is one among most approachable and down to earth diplomat I have seen. We thank him profusely and wish him the very best in personal and professional life."
Kamal Vachani, Indian businessman and chairman of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (Gopio) for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: "We are very thankful to Vipul for supporting Gopio during his tenure. The organisation remains committed to working with the consulate in Dubai and the Northern Emirates."
Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman and founder of Al Dobowi Group and the Gurunanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Dubai, described the envoy as "extremely supportive, approachable, polite" and one who understands the needs of the community.
"Whenever I approach him for any issues, he would immediately respond," Kandhari said.
"On two occasions, Vipul came to the Gurudwara and spoke directly to blue-collared workers about their rights and what they must or must not do in this country. He also recognised the 'Young Hearts Group', a support group for the elderly run by my wife Bubbles Kandhari. It was very sweet of him to recognise these efforts."
Kandhari said the consulate's hard work to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the Indian community was also commendable.
Social worker Girish Pant hailed how Vipul served the community '24 hours a day'. "Anyone could go and meet him, and speak to him about any issues related to the Indian community."
The consul-general has been instrumental in resolving the issues faced by Indian seafarers and blue-collar workers. Through his work, policies concerning them were changed by the Government of India, Pant said.
"His extended his support towards people of all economic backgrounds and I wish him the very best for all future endeavours," the social worker added.
Another social worker, Naseer Vatanapally, said Vipul always had a solution even for the most complex issues.
"Several consuls-general have come and gone, but Vipul has been a beacon of hope for the Indian community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. He is so down to earth and has always provided help to resolve emergency cases, no matter what time of the day," Vatanapally said.
"I can say he has stepped out in the field during the UAE amnesty, the Oman bus tragedy and, now, the Covid-19 pandemic. He was at the airport on most days and he has taken great steps to ensure the repatriation process of Indians takes place smoothly. He will always have our gratitude."
'A consul-general for the common man'
EP Johnson, president of Sharjah Indian Association, said Vipul was "the consul-general of the common man".
"He provided the Indian Association of Sharjah with excellent support, for every request we had. He is a gem of a person and was able to keep religious, political, and all difference aside to work with the community. We are going to really miss him, and I regret that the community could not give him a grand farewell - the one he deserves," Johnson said.
Roop Sidhu, general-secretary of Indian Association Ajman, said: "In these three years, we have received maximum support from the consulate, thanks to Vipul and the consulate's team. He was available to us round the clock and took a personal interest in everything. He streamlined passport services and addressed issues on seafarers and repatriation."
Advocate Hashik, a senior legal consultant in Dubai, said, "At a time of great difficulty, especially the pandemic, I have to really commend the sincerity in which Vipul has worked for the community. More than his duty, his service was on humanitarian grounds and it became an inspiration for other community members to work with the Indian diplomatic mission."
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