x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Indians seek help at embassy open day

Officials to address concerns over visas and medical bills.

Uthup Varughese was one of many Indians to turn up seeking help at the open day.
Uthup Varughese was one of many Indians to turn up seeking help at the open day.

ABU DHABI // Vinesh Madakara has been living in the UAE for more than nine years. But he has been without a visa since February last year.

Denied his end-of-service benefits and his flight home, he went to the Indian Embassy last August.

They helped him get his passport back from his former employer - in March. But the employer then filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour that he had absconded.

Mr Vinesh fears that if he tries to leave the country, he will be arrested at the airport.

"I want to go back home and I don't want to live here as illegal," he said.

He was one of many Indians to turn up seeking help at the Indian missions' first open day yesterday.

Mr Vinesh received a promise from the Indian Ambassador, MK Lokesh, that the consular section should work with UAE authorities and the former employer to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Another attendee at the open day was Venegopalan, who was there on behalf of his brother-in-law, Devakar Kunjan.

Mr Kunjan had worked for a company in Sharjah for the past 14 years, but had recently run up huge medical bills in Kerala for the treatment of a mental condition.

Mr Venegopalan hoped to persuade the embassy to urge Mr Kunjun's employer to pick up the tab. Mr Lokesh assured him he would to take up the matter with the concerned bodies.

The embassy says it is considering making the open day a monthly fixture.

"We have initiated this open day merely to resolve the issues of the Indian community," said Mr Lokesh. "The embassy always strives to provide as good as possible services to the applicant of the passport and visa."

anwar@thenational.ae