Dr.Arathi Krishna – a beacon of hope to all stranded Indians abroad :
Dr. Arathi Krishna has been a beacon of hope for stranded Indians all over the world but especially in the Gulf countries. While the Government of India’s Vande Bharat mission has been going on, several more hundred Indians were in dire need to get home urgently, especially old men and women and children. In desperation, they approached Dr Arathi Krishna through their friends from many countries and realised that she was ready to assist them immediately and selflessly even though herself she doesn’t hold any official position as of now.
Dr Krishna has over 15 years of experience as Community Development Officer in Indian Embassy, Washington DC and subsequently as Adviser in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. Due to her performance, she was later appointed as Karnataka’s NRI Forum Deputy Chairman with Minusterial
Rank, where she served till last year. Therefore, her immense experience came into the fore during the covid crisis where she was approached by NRIs from all over the world including the Philippines, Spain, Finland, Malaysia, Poland, Bangladesh, Russia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, USA, Australia, England and, last but not the least, from all the Gulf countries. She has helped them all out of empathy and concern and in a spirit of service to Indians abroad.
Notable contributions from Dr Arathi Krishna during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Before the lockdown was announced, 500 Indians including 50 kerala (wayanad) origin families were struck in Indonesia and requested the local MP Shri Rahul Gandhi for assistance who reached out to Dr Arathi Krishna, by the time Indonesia had reported over 2000 Corona virus cases and NRIs/travellers were in distress, She spoke to Indian Embassy and requested for the repatriation and the family reached home safely during the first phase of Vande Bharat Mission which was announced at the end of nation wide lockdown.
Kerala origin Mr. Ouseph Puthette, an Indian National, was struck in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. Due to the bad situation at Radom, he was moved to Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. he had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital and he informed the hospital that he would do the further treatment after getting back to India,
But developed further difficulty and with help of a Catholic priest of Poland he got admitted at the John Paul II Hospital. In the hospital he got a stent . he was supported by St. Philip Neri Catholic Priests who couldn’t provide it for a long time. They contacted Dr Arathi Krishna and soon she spoke to Poland embassy and helped the patient to receive NRI welfare fund from the embassy. Which made sure he was Patient was discharged safely.
Similarly a Shimoga based pregnant woman was stuck in Australia when lock down was announced and Dr Arathi krishna spoke to Indian embassy in Australia and arranged for the repatriation of the needy.
Soumya Bhatt, aged 40, died of respiratory problems in Bangalore. Her husband Venkat Raju was working in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The couple had 13 years old child. Husband wanted to fly back he approached Indian Embassy in bangladesh they were unable to help as all flight services were canceled from Docka due to Coronavirus Lockdown. The Bangladesh government expressed its helplessness in the face of sanctions due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Indian Overseas Congress Secretary, Dr. Arati Krishna, got the full details by telephone immediately. She wrote a letter to the Foreign Ministry and contacted Immigration Director and successfully got the permission to Venkat Raju to travel by car from Dhaka to Bangalore. Venkat Raju crossed the Indian border and reached Bangalore to perform the last rights.
When Government of India Launched Vande Bharat Mission, the largest Repatriation the world has ever witnessed to bring back stranded NRIs across to India Karnataka saw very less flights against thousands of people wanting to come back to India, Soon Saudi based Businessmen contacted Dr Arathi Krishna requesting Charter Flight Permission, responding to the request she took the matter to the Joint Secretary, and learnt there were similar requests from South African based Businessmen too and she pursued the proposal of Charter flight to DGCA(Director General, Civil Aviation) and got the approval Arathi Krishna has assisted in getting approvals for over 56 charter flights and about 20000 (twenty thousand) Indians (including Kannadigas) have returned home safely and also she played a key role in organising the country’s first ever Charity Chartered Flight operating from Dammam to Mangalore which carried over 170 passengers consisting of Pregnant women, Senior Citizens, People who needed immediate medical attention and women with infants.
Recently, the Andhra Pradesh government had imposed 14-day quarantine for Indians returning from the Gulf countries, a law which would have burdened employers who wanted to send employees back home due to pandemic. They contacted Dr Arathi Krishna, who in turn reached Andhra Pradesh Secretariat who successfully reduced the 14-day quarantine to 7 days and the decision turned out to be very beneficial to the businessmen and workers returning Home.
Given the backdrop, we, on behalf of large NRI community in the Gulf Countries request that the tremendous assistance given by Dr Arathi Krishna be recognised and she be appointed as Special Ambassador for NRIs across the Globe. We are confident that her empathy and service for NRIs will be of great benefit to the government.
News Input By Mohammad Mansoor
President, IOC Bahrain