The guidance and actions of outgoing Indian ambassador P Kumaran helped the Indian apex bodies in their efforts towards the betterment of the community in Qatar, the heads of these organisations said recently.
The observation was made during a virtual farewell hosted by the Indian community for the diplomat and his wife Ritu Kumaran.
The plenary was organised by Indian Community Benevolent Forum (ICBF) president P N Baburajan, co-ordinated by Indian Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) president Azim Abbas and supported by Indian Sports Centre (ISC) president Hassan Chougule and Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) president A P Manikantan.
The session was hosted by Anu Sharma and the technical co-ordination was handled by ICBF general secretary Avinash Gaikwad.
On the occasion, the community extended their wishes and success to Kumaran on his imminent assignment in Singapore.
The gathering contained at least 500 members of the community, including apex body chairmen, past, present and founder members of the apex bodies, members of associate organisations, community leaders, social leaders and members from all walks of the community. All those who spoke lauded the contributions by the envoy and his wife, noting that they left no stone unturned in their capacity to uphold the dignity, pride and
development of Indians in Qatar.
Baburajan recalled how Kumaran's term had a positive impact on ICBF and its activities. These included effective initiatives such as the open houses chaired by the ambassador, which shed light on several concerns faced by members of the community and helped extend a helping hand to many. Processes like workmen's compensation, workers' fund, tickets for repatriation and legal and action were expedited under Kumaran's
jurisdiction, helping make the lives of people better. Also, his presence in and support of each medical camp by ICBF and associated organisations, as well as his direct assurance of support to vulnerable segments of the community, acted as a beacon of hope to several.
The Integrated Indian Community Centre took shape during Kumaran's tenure, while the ICBF typing pool, photocopy centre and refreshment counters on the embassy premises helped provide more services to the Indian community.
Baburajan also conveyed the gratitude of the community and all apex bodies to Ritu Kumaran on the occasion. He stressed how the Hamad Medical Corporation's rehabilitation centre would always remember her services, while also noting her contributions to cancer patients. Also, under the banner of IZAAR, she had initiated successful painting exhibitions as fundraisers for people in the rehabilitation centre.
Abbas highlighted how Kumaran stood with the ICBF and IBPC even during the toughest of times, while Chougule remembered how the warm welcome accorded to the envoy years ago turned into a great bond between him and each member of the community. Manikantan highlighted how Kumaran's direction of the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, and his support of the ICC, helped promote Indian culture and heritage in Qatar.
Other speakers from the community were ISC advisory board chairman Sanaullah A R, ICC advisory board chairman K M Varghese, ICBF advisory board chairman Dr Mohan Thomas and IBPC advisory committee chairman C V Rappai. CEO of Doha Bank Dr R Seetharaman also delivered a video message.
Kumaran stressed that his stay in Qatar was a pleasant experience. He said “It is important that we all stay united despite several differences, being
such a large community. During this tenure, the trade volume between Qatar and India increased significantly and the Indian population (in Qatar) also surged ahead and reached new heights. We had only three apex bodies for the community and now there are four. There were plans to lay the foundation for a new embassy building but that could not be materialised.”
He added that more than 30,000 Indian nationals hadbeen repatriated during the Covid-19 pandemic and they had also been able to provide assistance to 20,000-30,000 people during the crisis. He said he was fortunate to attend a large number of medical camps through these years and see a large number of low-income workers benefit from it.