Q8india.com, The well-known news portal in Kuwait recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Mr. Ramesh S Bhandary, President of Tulu Koota Kuwait who is leading a committee in Kuwait to appeal Karnataka Government to seek help in challenges and issues faced by Kannadigas in Gulf Countries during pandemic COVID-19.He also spoke about his journey in Kuwait and his role as president of one of the largest Karnataka association in Kuwait.
Tell us about you and your journey into Kuwait?
I am basically a software professional started my career with software development house in Mumbai. I landed in Kuwait way back in 1997 for better prospects. Its almost 23+ years of extensive experience in professional & Social field and the journey has been very amazing and successful. Kuwait has been very kind to me and many alike thus strengthening our hands to carry out the social work. I came from humble family and happily married with 2 kids.
Tell us about efforts being carried out to tackle challenges and issues faced by Kannadigas in Gulf Countries and Kuwait in particular during COVID-19 pandemic?
More than 80% of the Kannadigas in Kuwait are from Coastal Karnataka (Tuluvas) and I am proud to be associated with TKK Association as a President for the second consecutive year (2018-2020). TKK is secular association uniting people through Tulu Language. Under the umbrella of TKK, we have initiated COVID 19 helpline group and played a lead role in addressing the issues of Kannadigas in Kuwait. We started by providing food kits to the needy people and as the word spread in the community we received many requests for medicine & medical consultation services. This too has been facilitated with the support of medical professionals. In this hour of distress TKK also joined hands in providing food kits to needy people from our homeland. It fills me with pride to be part of an association which has committee members who volunteered to help people fearlessly. All this has been possible due to support from members and our well wishers and supporters
We have also taken the initiative in updating the concerned Karnataka Ministers with the issues faced by Indians and Kannadigas in Kuwait. We have sent an appeal to Hon. Chief Minister Sri. B.S.Yadiyurappa, Hon.Union Minister Sri.Sadananda Gowda and MP& BJP State President Sri. Nalini Kumar Kateel.
We have also joined hands with ICSG (Indian Community Support Group) – Formed By Indian Embassy, to address the issues of Indian Community at large.
Tell us more about your video conferencing meeting with Hon. Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri B.S. Yediyurappa ?
I was invited as President of Tulu Koota Kuwait, along with Other Gulf Karnataka Association leaders to the video conference meeting arranged by GULF NRI Forum with Hon. Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri B.S.Yediyurappa to discuss the issue faced by NRI Kannadigas during the COVID-19, in Kuwait and other Gulf Countries.
As the major portion of Kannadigas in Kuwait are from coastal Karnataka, I took the initiative to study the challenges and issues faced by Kannadigas in Kuwait due to the pandemic.
During video conference with Hon. Chief Minister, I was able to briefly explain various issues and emergency cases which include Pregnant women, Senior citizens, visit visa expired cases and urgent medical treatment requirement cases who wish to travel back to Karnataka to CM Yediyurappa.
Following requests are explained to CM for his notice and attention:-
Evacuation flights to Bangalore and Mangalore from Kuwait and other Gulf countries
Priority-based evacuation of people with no jobs, expired visit visas, pregnancy and those seeking urgent medical assistance
Provide free Airline tickets or discounted price for labor class people and FREE Quarantine Facility at Bengaluru and Mangaluru
Dedicated Covid – 19 Helpline number for Karanataka NRIs- Nominate One line Contact person in Karnataka to co-ordinates all COVID -19 related issues of NRI.
KNRI website to collect data of Kannadigas worldwide through registration. (This will help Karnataka Govt to plan current evacuation and future activities)
We are thankful to the leadership and team for the patient hearing and assurance received from BS Yadiyurappa – Hon Chief Minister of Karnataka, Raghavendra Yadiyurappa – Member of Parliament – Shivamogga constituency, of immediate action plan to repatriate needy Kannadigas from Gulf region to Karnataka.
Is other Gulf countries Kannadigas involved in this committee ?
Yes, the Video conference was attended by Karnataka association leaders of other Gulf Countries such as UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia
Tell us something about Tulu Koota
TKK (Tulu Koota Kuwait) emerged in the year 2000 with the motto of “Unity through Language” has grown steadily and successfully. It is a secular association having about 5000 registered members affiliated to the Indian Embassy of Kuwait. Traditionally, it focuses on charity projects or programs that add value to the scope of social, cultural, philanthropic and welfare activities.
Currently we are focusing on our major welfare/Charity projects such as “Ashraya- Housing Project”, “Glimmer of Hope – & “Project Education”, through which we extend our helping hand to many underprivileged and deserving needy people in India and Kuwait. We take pride to list some of achievements on welfare front are:
- Financial help for Housing for needy underprivileged people
- Financial support to Vijetha Special School, Karkala, school for the kids with special needs
- Financial support De Mercede Orphanage, Panir, Mangalore, Children orphanage.
- Adopted 30 HIV infected children and provided food, medicine and academic support from Dakshina Kannada Rural Development Society, Beltangady
- Contribution to Educational Institutions by providing books, uniforms and other facilities.
- Health grant, Death grant, Medical assistance and Scholarship to Tulu koota Kuwait Members.
- Free Medical Camp for in Kuwait & Blood donation camp in Kuwait.
- Kidney Dialysis Machine donated to Aadarsh Hospital, Udupi and SCS Hospital Mangalore to provide Kidney Dialysis for needy and lower income patients at cost/ concessional price.
- Donated Ambulance and health care vehicle to serve the need at remote areas.
- Assistance in repatriation of stranded Indian community members in Kuwait
On The Cultural Front, every year we organize mega events like Family Picnic /Sports Event, Rasamanjari (Musical Nite), Cultural Competition and Tulu Parba (artistic event) which gives opportunity to the budding talents of Kuwait to showcase their ability. Likewise, provide opportunity to the artist from Tulu Nadu to exhibit their talent on the international level.
we would like to thank Mr. Ramesh for giving his valuable time for this interview.0