Indian expats laud outgoing diplomat Vipul as community champion

khaleejtimes, 01-07-2020 18:02:52

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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. 

Also read: Aman Puri to take charge as India’s new consul general in Dubai

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. 

Resolving issues

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."

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