The growing Indian population in the Eindhoven region is evident by the measures the Indian Embassy takes to address the community’s needs. The Indian Embassy and VFS Global, together with a few Indian organisations, conducted the first-ever consular camp in Eindhoven on Saturday, 21 January.
Brainport region residents have to travel to the Hague or Amsterdam for all Indian consular services. This easily costs a working day and many Euros. This holds the same for those who need an Indian visa. For young families, it also meant the children had to miss school. Bearing all these inconveniences in mind, the embassy and various Indian groups came together to pioneer a consular camp (Indian embassy @your doorstep) in Eindhoven.
The maiden consular camp was inaugurated by counsellor Shubra Pandey, while ACO Manesh Magar oversaw the camp operations. The VFS Global team led by Soumava Ghosh processed the formalities for 175 people in five hours. This is commendable, given the fact the team not only must adapt to the new work environment but also set it up in a short time frame. Honourable Indian Ambassador Reenat Sandhu appreciated the organisers, VFS and consular officers on the initiative. Indian restaurant Lekker India offered to host the camp as a goodwill gesture.
The Indian organisations that came together to initiate, organise and execute this consular camp are APNRTS Europe, Vasudhaiva kutumbakam, Eyal Eindhoven (Tamil association), TANE (Telugu association), Eindhoven Marathi Mitramandal, Shrigandha (Kannada association), Bonghoven (Bengali association) and Sanskriti & Sanskar.
Samir Toub, Alderman for Diversity and inclusion, visited the camp as a special guest of honour. Toub shook hands with the Indian embassy dignitaries and the representatives of the local Indian organisations and patiently heard their needs and requests to enable better cooperation in future. Toub also highlighted the valuable contribution of the Indian expats to the region’s growth.
The 175 attendees who availed of the services showered praise on the initiative. Mohammed pointed out that ” I had to go back home to fetch some documents, which would have been impossible if I availed the service in the Hague or Amsterdam”. Another applicant, Dutt, remarked, ” the staff were very friendly, and the process was ultra-fast.”
“It warms my heart to see newborns and their families ease through the passport application process”, gushes Karthik Yellapragada, the initiator of this camp. All most all the applicants and many others from the Indian community favour a monthly camp in Eindhoven.