Public response unit for diaspora set up in the UK

Indian diaspora is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the country


August 14, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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According to 2011 census, there are approximately 1.5 million people of Indian origin in the UK (Courtesy: India in UK/ facebook)

The Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) has launched a ten-member Public Response Unit to provide instant service to the diaspora.

While attending the 72nd Independence Day celebrations at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London on August 8, 2019, India’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK) Ruchi Ghanashyam announced that a Public Response Unit has been set up to resolve the problems of the Indians living in the UK as quickly as possible, “if possible on phone itself.” The new unit is to provide more frequent service for inquiries regarding consular services as well as information about OCI, Passport, PIO and Visa services.

Commenting on the service, she said, “Your High Commission is a phone call away. We want to take the service to the door step of people in the UK.” She also paid tribute to the former external affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, who passed away recently after suffering a cardiac arrest. Ghanashyam described Swaraj as a person who brought a “new orientation to the external affairs ministry.”

“As external affairs minister she gave us lead to give better services to the people – whether they are living in India or abroad,” the Indian envoy said. She also expressed that Swaraj was one of the tallest leaders of India in the recent past and, “we celebrate the contributions she made through her dedication.” The participants at the event also observed a minute’s silence in the memory of Swaraj.

The Response Unit has been welcomed by the people and requests are accepted and reacted to consistently by the unit both telephonically and via email. The introduction of the unit is to facilitate the increased number of inquiries accepted from NRIs and individuals of Indian cause in the UK.

At the beginning of the year, the Indian High Commission had introduced an initiative to take consular services including passport, visa and attestation services to the Indian diaspora in far-flung areas in the UK as part of a new drive by the Indian High Commission in the country.

In regards to the initiative Ghanashyam had said, “The High Commission of India will continue its work tirelessly to further consolidate and deepen India-UK hugely beneficial ties as well as serve Indian citizens and people of Indian origin in the most efficient and friendly manner.”

Since last year, the Indian mission in London has undertaken several initiatives to reach out to the community, consular services are one amongst them. This year they have also made preparations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak and 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with grand events.

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