Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told a packed Indian embassy auditorium, representing a cross-section of the large Indian community in Kuwait, that relief from their problems were just a tweet away. The comment brought rapturous applause from the community.

Sushma Swaraj interacted with the community in a question and answer session that saw the oldest members and newest ones describing their stay in the country, as well as noting down issues of concern.

The Indian community, which represents the largest expatriate community in the country and numbers almost one million, are engaged in various fields of work that includes doctors, engineers, blue-collar and white-collar workers, as well as both male and female domestic workers.

“You have done us proud and the Kuwait leadership is very happy with the Indian community for their hard work and dedication,” she pointed out in her address to the gathering.

Ms. Swaraj said that since taking over as minister almost four years ago, she had instructed Indian missions all over the world to shift priority to helping and assisting Indian citizens abroad. This shift has put the focus back to Non-Resident Indians and giving priority to their concerns.

Indian community members raised the issue of attestation of Indian engineers’ certificates and also delay in attesting documents from the Indian side, which the Indian FM said she would look into on an urgent basis.

Regarding the ongoing problem of Indian nurses who were recruited to work for the ministry of health but were not appointed since almost two years, she said this was being addressed on an urgent basis and would be resolved at the earliest. The Times has learnt that following the arrival of the minister, the documents for appointment of the nurses have been processed and they are expected to resume work immediately.

Unscrupulous recruiting agents and fake agents back in India were being raided and dealt with harshly, Ms. Swaraj pointed out, while adding that there was a coordinated attempt from all chief ministers to arrest and apprehend such people.

There has been a long gap since such a senior level visit had taken place and was the first from the present government. The minister was warmly welcomed, and the community expressed their appreciation for the visit. Any Indian minister’s visit to the country always attracts great attention from the community who are eager to meet and exchange issues with the minister. Sushma Swaraj’s visit once again underscored the importance of having such visits, albeit more frequently.

Earlier the minister was welcomed by Indian ambassador H.E. K. Jeeva Sagar who gave a brief address to the community following which a cultural program that included music, song and dance, entertained the invitees. Miss Harini Mahadevan gave an excellent performance of a classical song and then a superlative dance performance by Manju Sibi was very well appreciated.

Popular Kuwaiti singer Mubarak Al Rasheed also regaled the audience with his songs and was applauded by the minister particularly for his rendition of the song Vaishnava Jana, the favourite song of Mahatma Gandhi. The students of Bhavans Kuwait also performed the Dandiya dance with graceful fluidity.

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