UDUPI: Veteran leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was more than just a minister. Her motherly nature and twitter outreach had brought a lot of verve to her working style, and people of Udupi had a great deal of respect for her.
She had helped many from this coastal district in times of distress. One notable occasion was when she had successfully freed a Kundapur youth from a Kuwaiti jail last year. Shankar Poojari from Basroor, in Kundapur, was languishing in a jail in Kuwait for about seven months for unknowingly possessing banned medicine, and with the timely intervention of Sushma Swaraj, Poojari was bailed out and released from jail in January this year.
Sushma had also helped many families from Udupi district, including that of Prashanth, who was shot dead by an unidentified man in Munich, Germany, in March this year. Prashanth, who was also from Kundapur, lived with his wife, Smitha, and their two children in Munich. Sushma had asked the Indian mission in Munich to take care of the couple’s children till Prashanth’s family members could go to Munich, as Smitha was also hospitalized due to injuries. Sushma also assisted the grieving family by facilitating their travel to Germany to conduct the last rites.
In the case of Udupi-based nurse Hazel Mathias, who died in Saudi Arabia under mysterious circumstances in July 2018, Sushma got in touch with the government of Saudi Arabia and ensured early release of her body. Her family members had contacted MLC Ivan D’Souza for help in getting details of Hazel. Ivan had contacted Sushma who helped them.