Labour, passport issues addressed at R-day open house


Labour, passport issues addressed at R-day open house
India Ambassador to UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, greets workers during the Republic Day Celebrations in Abu Dhabi. - KT photo By Ryan Lim

Dubai - The next session is expected to happen on February 23, from 3 to 5 pm

By Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 8:37 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:44 PM

Labour and consular issues were two of the most common grievances aired by Indian nationals at first Consulate General of India (CGI) 'Open House', which resumed on Friday, January 26.
Consul General Vipul and senior officials, including the five Consular officers at the Indian Consulate, heard grievances and issues faced by Indians living in the UAE. Common problems included labour issues and some approached the officials with problems regarding visas and passports.
The attendees were given one-on-one advice by consulate officials at the forum, and were assured that their issues would be looked into on a case-by-case basis and sorted out at the earliest. The next session is expected to happen on February 23, from 3 to 5 pm.
Though the turnout was relatively thin, CG Vipul is confident that more would attend in the coming sessions. The CGI announced that it would relaunch the open house on Pravasi Bhatariya Divas (NRI Day) celebrations that took place on January 10 at the Consulate auditorium.
Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Open House, he said: "This is only the first day since the relaunch, and I could see that people attending the sessions were appreciative of the advice given." Vipul added that as the numbers of attendees increase, a more streamlined process will be put in place to accommodate more volume.
"Also, we're hoping that work will go around with word-of-mouth and through social media channels. We will also be working with the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) awareness camps, so that we can reach out to a wider audience, especially in labour camps," added Vipul.
Khaleej Times also spoke to some of the aggrieved residents, who'd travelled a great distance to attend the session. KP (name withheld at request) said: "I served as a guarantor for someone and gave my passport away on his behalf. Now he is absconding and I cannot renew my visa. After facing this problem, I want to let people know that the passport is their primary and most important document; people must not let it go out of their hands."
Another visitor, 81-year-old Jayakrishnan Valambil and his son Dinesh, approached the forum stating that the lamination of his passport wore off and he was detained at the Dubai Airport. "I renewed my passport in Malaysia and was flying here to visit my son. I was detained at Dubai airport for an hour because the lamination of my passport wore off. Immigration officials were kind enough to conduct a genuine and thorough check. I want the issue sorted so that I don't face a similar problem during my return" said Valambil. Consulate officials have assured help to Valambil.
Anish Choudhary, manager of IWRC said: "The CGI has revitalised a main concern of the Indian community. We will reach out to labour camps through our awareness programmes and IWRC's social media. I suggest that Indians take full advantage of this facility."

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