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Powered by, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Consular information at bus stops helps workers

05/18/2009 11:24 PM

Dubai: Signboards displaying information on Indian consulate services and hotline numbers inside the sheltered bus stops are quite handy for Indian blue collar workers.

Gondayya R. Mani an Indian blue collar worker said the initiative to make emergency hotline numbers available in bus stops is certainly something that they were wanting for a long time. According to him, the availability of emergency numbers at public places has generated a kind of confidence among his colleagues that assistance is just a phone call away.

"I have been working in the UAE for the last three years and this is [the] first time that I am aware that such a hotline exists in the consulate. I have written down all the emergency numbers from a signboard displayed inside a bus shelter in Hamriya," he said.

The consulate had taken this proactive step in April this year. More than 700 sheltered bus stops have the emergency numbers displayed inside them. These include contact numbers for women's counselling, people who need assistance in completing formalities in case of a death during holidays, visa and passport enquires as well as the Indian consulate website.

Workers like Gondayya who spoke to Gulf News said that the initiative taken by the Indian consulate will save them time while calling on the main consulate telephone number.

"When you dial the main consulate number, either you will get an engaged tone or operator fails to attend it. If at all your call is attended, you either get a rude reply from the operator or your call gets transferred to one consul to another," said Ravi Kumar a grocer in Karama.

"I had a labour problem and called on one of the mobile numbers that were given on the signboard. I was informed that the mobile phone number that I dialled was only for housemaids in distress, but still the consul put my doubts to rest," said Govind another blue collar worker.

Have you experienced any issues when dealing with the consulate? Have you used the new hotline? How useful was it?

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