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'I Lost a Hero': Woman Recounts How Sushma Swaraj Came to her Rescue When She Was Stranded in Berlin

The nation has lost a hard-working, efficient, and a selfless minister. I lost a hero.


Updated:August 7, 2019, 8:44 PM IST
'I Lost a Hero': Woman Recounts How Sushma Swaraj Came to her Rescue When She Was Stranded in Berlin
The nation has lost a hard-working, efficient, and a selfless minister. I lost a hero.

On Tuesday, former Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj passed away after a massive cardiac arrest. Swaraj, who was popularly known as the 'People's Minister', was 67. Nevertheless, her legacy lives on. Swaraj was probably the most approachable political leader India had known, someone who exuded warmth and empathy. From being active on social media to helping anyone who reaches out to her, Swaraj was a living example of the proverb that not all superheroes wear capes.

In May 2015, Agratha Dinakaran from was travelling alone in Berlin when she got stranded without a passport or money after being robbed. No prizes for guessing who came to her rescue. Then MEA Sushma Swaraj personally looked into her case and ensured her safe return. This is Agratha's story, in her own words.

It was in May 2015 whilst I was travelling alone in Berlin, Germany, when I discovered that someone had cut through my bag and had stolen my passport and wallet, leaving me stranded in a foreign country.

Terrified, I made my way to the Indian embassy, which had shut at 12:30 that day. I reached there at 2:30pm and was told to return to the embassy the next morning as no one could help me.

Frustrated, I tweeted out for help. I was desperate and and wanted to know if anyone had any contacts that could help me. While people were retweeting and trying to help me, someone tagged the official Twitter handle of Ministry of External Affairs and then MEA Sushma Swaraj, to ask if they could help me in any way.

I was shocked to see a reply from Swaraj, who asked for my phone number so that we could go over the details. I replied with my number and assumed it would be her digital team who would contact me. Imagine my surprise when 15 minutes later, Sushma Swaraj personally called me and asked if I was doing okay!

After a quick exchange of details and sharing my experience with her, she told me that the embassy should not have been closed for an emergency case like mine, and then assured me that she would investigate it immediately.

Ten minutes later, I got a call from the officials at the embassy and was asked to drop in to get a new travel document which would allow me to fly back home.

I never forgot how quickly she came to my rescue when I had lost all hope, given that the Indian Embassy was closed. I was immediately reached out to by multiple officials because she communicated my situation to them. I’ll forever be grateful to her and how she went out of her way to help me and countless others. Her demise is still painful to process, for she is still an inspiration to many.

The nation has lost a hard-working, efficient, and a selfless minister. I lost a hero.

(As told to Jashodhara Mukherjee)

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