Indian Consulate to display compassion at bus stops

Signs are to be placed at air-conditioned bus shelters to reach out to Indian expats who need help.

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The Indian Consulate in Dubai plans to use information signboards at air-conditioned bus shelters to reach out to expats who need help. Signboards with counselling hotline numbers for those suffering from work-related or social stress will soon be displayed in 600 bus shelters across Dubai. The scheme will provide information on the services offered at the consulate and any new initiatives being launched.

At the inauguration of the first bus shelter today, Venu Rajamony, the consul general of India, said: "The idea is to reach out to as many Indians as possible, especially in these times of financial crisis. This is a great opportunity to publicise consulate services and the hotline numbers to those Indians who commute via buses, especially the construction workers and labourers." Right Angle Media, which is setting up more than 600 bus shelters for the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai, offered the free advertising space to the public service. The consulate said the signboards, which will display various hot line numbers, have already been prepared.

Mr Rajamony added that the mission's initiative is part of its broader effort to help Indians in their time of need. "In these times of financial crisis, it becomes even more vital for Indians to have such information handy. It is part of the wider outreach plan of the consulate to extend help to as many Indians as possible. The consulate officials will be even more proactive and take adequate steps during this period of economic downturn in identifying Indians in their time of need," said Mr Rajamony. The consulate said the signboards will be in Arabic as well as English.

Indians are the largest expatriate community in Dubai, with Indian men and women working in a range of fields including construction and hospitality. Patrick Chaundy, the president and COO of Right Angle Media, said, "We aim to provide many such public facilities via the outdoor medium which can benefit people living in Dubai." The consulate said the signboards will display contact numbers for those in need of free counselling for work/social stress (050-9433111); people who need help in the event of a family member's death during holidays and after office hours (050-7347676); and passport and visa enquiries (600522229).

All signboards will also display the website address of the Indian Consulate in Dubai.