Consul with a passion

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

The Dutch honorary consul in Chennai, India, is a prominent businesswoman. Akhila Srinivasan is the director of one of India's biggest insurance companies. She is one of the world's 360 honorary consuls of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  

The Netherlands has embassies and consulates in over 90 countries. But it’s expensive to send professional diplomats to all those missions. The Netherlands, like many other countries, often asks locals to look after its interests. They do the work free-of-charge for the “honour”.
Akhila Srinivasan works in the southern Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras. She uses her network to help improve health care and the lives of children. She’s set up a foundation that provides education and food for 60 poor children. “Education is my passion”, she says.