George Joseph, former Indian Ambassador to Qatar, passes away
02 Jun 2017 - 0:20
The Peninsula Online
George Joseph, former Indian diplomat who served in various countries including Qatar, and who in his tenure in Doha as ambassador, virtually threw open embassy gates to the most vulnerable classes among the expatriates, passed away in Kottayam, Kerala, aged 68.
He’s survived by his wife, Rani and a daughter, Renu. His funeral rites will take place at Nedumkunnam St. John the Baptist Forane Church on Saturday.
He started his career in Indian Foreign Service in 1975 and served in Riyadh and Dubai as consul general. He represented India as ambassador in Turkmenistan and Qatar before retiring in Bahrain.
Nothing, not even protocols prevented him reaching out to the needy, said Sam Basheer, the then president of the KMCC. “Before Mr Joseph, Mr R.L. Narayan also reached out to the community and was called peoples’ ambassador. But a series of measures undertaken by Mr Joseph broke all previous perceptions about what an ambassador could achieve,” Mr Basheer adds.
He would discuss things that matter with various community organisations. “He’s taken up issues of housemaids to the government of India and worked for better contracts. He tried to bring faulty recruitment agencies to justice. He authored a booklet called “Domestic Workers’ Issues: A Win Win Proposal, and circulated among us social workers for feedback,” recalls Mr Basheer.
He made a responsive, round the clock system in place at Indian Embassy, says Mr Baburaj, a community leader and former journalist. “He got rid of the separate passage the ambassadors used to have and passed through the visitors area. He conducted entertainment shows for workers and arranged breakfast, lunch and dinner for all those who turned up by enlisting sponsors. And various community organisations and their access to the Qatari society were put to the best use of the collective Indian community,” adds Baburaj.