Launch of the embassy familiarisation visit for Indian students
Members of the Media,
Dear Principals, Teachers and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning to all of you!
Welcome to Embassy of India.
I am so happy to welcome you all today to this special event, launch of the Embassy familiarization visit of Indian students in Kuwait.
I begin my remarks today by thanking His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait and His Highness Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Crown Prince, for hosting the large Indian community in Kuwait.
I am so happy to see so many students have joined us today at this launch of the Embassy familiarization visit. Due to the many challenges and constraints caused by Covid 19 pandemic in the last two years, my direct interaction with our Indian students were very limited. But we made it a point to remain in touch with our dear students through various means including through our principals and teachers and through digital media.
I am happy to note that our children have actively participated in all the events that we organized in this auditorium and in various iconic places in Kuwait in the last two years as part of our celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations and also the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. In everything that we organized in Kuwait in the last two years, in both physical and virtual format, we always had our children as a priority in our thoughts and in our deeds.
India is blessed to have one of the youngest populations in the world. There is abundance of talent, skill, appetite, innovative and creative energies and above all the yearning, motivation, determination and the high spirit of the youth. The desire and the will to succeed is hard to miss amongst the youth of India. I see a microcosm of this abundant energy and enthusiasm of Indian youth amongst the Indian students here in Kuwait. We have seen their resilience and fortitude as well while they faced the challenge of the Covid 19 pandemic. It was not easy to be confined to your homes, staying away from your friends, classmates, teachers, missing out on essential life skills and experiences. But these young children have done remarkably well to adapt and face the challenges admirably. They displayed remarkable spirit in facing the daunting challenge and have not wavered despite the fact that in essence almost two years of their childhood was denied to them. They have indeed proved that youth are the warriors of the society; the warriors of positive change.
I am amazed at the way they adapted quickly to the way education was digitally administered. I also commend the teachers and parents in playing a valuable role in this adaptation process. I am happy to note that our Embassy has also been able to support our schools and children during that difficult period of Covid 19 pandemic, one example of which was the conduct of NEET examination in Kuwait last year, for the first time outside India.
On this occasion today, when we launch this special familiarization visit event focusing on our children, I would like to place on record our sincere gratitude to our Government of India back home, particularly our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, our Hon’ble External Affairs Minister, and our Hon’ble Education Minister for selecting Kuwait as the first center for NEET examination outside India. You would recall that last year, in the middle of Covid 19 pandemic, when we were all worried about our children travelling to India to give the NEET examination, on our request Kuwait was selected as the first Center outside India for the first time in the history of NEET examination. It was a new beginning which helped so many children and parents. This week for second consecutive year NEET examination was held in Kuwait, not just in Kuwait but in fourteen cities outside India. A small plant we planted last year has blossomed and has now been institutionalized.
It’s a moment of happiness and great satisfaction for me and the entire Embassy team who worked to make this happen in the middle of the Covid 19 pandemic last year. In fact, it is not NEET examination alone that we brought closer home, since last year we have been organizing JEE, NATA and Chartered Accounts Examination in India. I feel so happy to see that our children from Kuwait are coming out of NEET, NATA, JEE and Chartered Accounts examinations in flying colors.
It is one of my dream projects to introduce our children also to the prestigious civil service examination in India. I am happy to introduce two of our officers of 2019 batch, Shri Nikhil Kumar and Smt. Anchita Kethwes who have joined us in Kuwait this month. As part of our program today Anchita will make a presentation on Indian civil service examination. They are your mentors in your journey to join the prestigious civil services of India to join Indian Foreign Service, Indian Administrative Service or Indian Police Service or other many services.
Talking about today’s launch of embassy familiarization visit for our students, the idea came out of my several meetings with our senior students. Some of our senior students who left Kuwait for higher studies on completion their Grade 12 exam here met me in my office before their final departure from Kuwait. I asked them whether they have been to the embassy during their seventeen years stay in Kuwait. Most of them told me not to the Embassy, but we have been to the passport outsourcing centers in Jleeb Abassia or Fahaheel. I was surprised and saddened. They all thought that Embassy means the passport outsourcing center and most believed that the only thing that any Embassy does is to issue passports and attest documents.
I said that this beautiful iconic red sandstone building houses the only Government of India office in Kuwait. It is not just one of the offices in Kuwait, it is not just one of the Indian associations in Kuwait, it is not just an iconic Indian building. It is your home away from home, make it a point to visit your embassy and be our guest at least once during your stay in Kuwait. Visit us and learn what Embassy does. Consular Work such as issuing passports and visas are very important aspect of the functioning of Embassies abroad. But it is just one of the functions. Embassies do a lot more. Our endeavor here is to introduce to you a holistic picture of what Embassies do. We have a documentary presentation made for this purpose. We also want to ensure that our students are brought up in the spirit of India’s civilizational ethos and values.
I would like to have at least one familiarization visit by all our students, fifty thousand of them, during their stay in Kuwait. We will organize such familiarization visits every month in collaboration with our schools.
With those words, I announce the embassy familiarization visit by our children officially inaugurated. After this event, we will visit the Indian Naval Ship INS TEG which is currently at the Shuwaikh port in Kuwait.
Thank you and good morning.