New Indian deputy chief of mission vows support for NRIs
Newly appointed Indian Deputy Chief of Mission Hemant Kotalwar has vowed to support non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the Kingdom and commended the Indian Embassy’s hard work during the legalization grace period.
Kotalwar’s statements came on Monday, in which the newly stationed diplomat said he drew inspiration from the hard work of volunteers and social workers during that period.
“We would like to keep up the spirit of enthusiasm for the welfare of the Indian community living in the Kingdom,” he told Arab News during his first meeting with the local media after taking charge.
“The meticulousness with which the mission worked under the experienced leadership of our ambassador, Hamid Ali Rao, in handling urgent issues during the amnesty period reflected a sense of perfection that has always inspired me,” said Kotalwar.
“I recall that period of great cooperation and synergy every time I read about the ongoing nationalization campaign in the papers.”
“I had also been told that the media had fully cooperated with the mission in spreading awareness campaigns among community members and helping people follow up on the status of their paperwork,” he said.
“I thank each one of you for your support to the embassy and for your efforts in assisting our brothers and sisters in taking advantage of the grace period,” said the deputy head of mission, adding that he would soon meet the core group of volunteers and social workers for future cooperation.
The new chargé d’affaires thanked Saudi authorities for the grace period and their humanitarian approach during the nationalization campaign.
“For many, going back to India was a dream come true since many of these expats had been trying to return back home for several years,” he said.
This is no small achievement for the mission and the community, he added.
Kotalwar, an engineering graduate, joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1996.
He has served at the Indian missions in Brussels, Algiers and at the permanent mission of India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva during his eighteen-year career, after which he came to Riyadh.
This is Kotalwar’s first appointment to the Middle East.
His last posting in Geneva lasted from July 2011 to June 2014.
He also served as under-secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi and as regional passport officer in Mumbai from 2003 to 2008.
He is married to Seema and has one son, Aditya, and a daughter, Tejal.