VISA APPLICATIONS PILE UP AT UNDER STAFFED MUMBAI CONSULATE
KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – The Spanish Consulate in Mumbai blames being under staffed for the Visa application pile up. Both the Ambassador and the Consul General are out of India. The skeleton Embassy staff manning the Consulate during the summer vacation in Europe do not seem to “understand the value of world youth day,” says one of the World Youth Day national coordinators. Over 500 applications await processing, so that young people can travel in the coming days.
Emerging from a three hour meeting at the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi, the World Youth Day India Coordinators, insist that accepting Visa application from hundreds of young people and not processing them in time is totally unfair. If they [Visa officers] can’t handle the Visa application load why should the Consulate accept the applications in the first place,” they demand.
The officials have prat answer for that, “we can’t refuse applications.”
There are 38 different groups from India participating at the WYD celebrations in Madrid starting 15th August. The biggest group of participants is youth belonging to the Indian Catholic Youth Movement which has membership in over 165 dioceses of India. Other groups include Don Bosco Youth Animation India, Jesus Youth International, Neo-Catechumanate, All India Catholic Youth Federation, Young Christian Students, etc.
Most of the youth groups leave their villages on the evening of 3rd or on 4th August morning to proceed to their diocesan centres. From there, the group will join bigger groups of the metro cities leaving from international airports in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi. These groups are expected to leave on 7th or 8th August for Europe where they will visit, Rome, Lourdes and Fatima, prior to arriving in Madrid according to their particular travel package.