KOLKATA – Many Indian delegates [boys and girls] to World Youth Day Madrid scheduled to fly out of India on 7th August from the International Airports, located in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkota may face despair and frustration if some 600 visas are not issued by the Spanish Embassy in Mumbai & New Delhi (India) by 3rd August 2011. The young people who are denied visa have not yet been told as youth animators are hopeful of some miracle happens before 3rd August 2pm!
“This is totally unfair,” says WYD Antenna Coordinator for India based in New Delhi.
The WYD young people belong to 13 regional youth groups of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, as well as groups belonging to Salesians (DBYA), Jesuits, and Jesus Youth, etc.
To reach the International airports in the country most youth need to travel more than 50 hours by bus or train. For some it is more than two days of travel … as they can’t afford high speed travel facility within the country. Hence, some delegates need to start out from their villages as early as 2nd or 3rd August to reach 6th August, to catch international flights on 7th August with their respective groups.
The delegation’s air travel details may be found in website http://www.youthactiv8.org/2011/06/22/wyd-flight-information/
When these youth arrive at the international airport and come to know that they have been denied visa for insufficient funds, it is bound to create huge frustration to them and massive embarrassment to the organizers. In fact, they have worked hard to collect sufficient funds and the organizations have raised the necessary resources to meet the requirement.
The WYD visa facilitation coordinator in Madrid Mr Santiago is hopeful and says “we are doing our very best for Indian groups. We are still here working, at 11.30 pm.”
He adds, “What I am going to do is to request a formal response from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. I hope I can give you an answer tomorrow [Tuesday 2nd August] from the Ministry with a positive response.”