Sushma Swaraj promises help in bringing body of Indian from Tokyo

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj arrives for a flag-raising ceremony with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in Kabul September 10, 2014. Karzai and Swaraj on Wednesday hoisted the largest Afghanistan national flag, which was made in India, during the ceremony and Swaraj pledged to build a park around the flag, according to a government official. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR45PFR

New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) Recuperating after a kidney transplant at AIIMS here, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj continues to promptly respond to pleas for helping Indians abroad — this time from a family which is unable to bring back the mortal remains of a member who died in Tokyo.

“We will bear all the expenses (to bring back the body) and do this without delay,” Swaraj today tweeted from the hospital bed here, a day after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) sought her help for the family of Gopal Ram who died eight days ago in the Japanese capital.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal had written to Swaraj seeking intervention after Radha Debi, wife of Gopal, approached the Commission seeking help, saying the family was unable to bring the body due to financial constraints.

The External Affairs Minister is known for her prompt response in addressing problems of distressed Indians abroad, many of whom have approached her through twitter. Even during her hospitalisation, Swaraj, 64, who underwent a kidney transplant on December 10, has continued to respond to requests for help.

48-year-old Gopal Ram, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar here, had gone to Tokyo in September last year looking for greener pastures. He died of a cardiac arrest in the Japanese capital on December 10.

“The family is severely distressed and needs your kind support.

“As we all aware you have been extremely pro-active in resolving such matters. Therefore, I am forwarding the representation along with this letter for your kind perusal.

Hoping for your support in this matter,” Maliwal said in a letter to Swaraj yesterday.

Gopal was working in Tokyo as a cook in a hotel and, according to a family member, he was fired within three months after which he started working in some local shop.

His financial condition was bad because of which he was in distress, he said.

On December 10, the family received a call from a person who worked with Gopal, saying that he has passed away following a heart attack.

“Since then we have been in touch with Indian Embassy officials in Japan and also have written to the MEA but they have asked us to arrange for several documents and it is becoming extremely difficult for us to arrange things as we are financially not sound.

“We want the government of India to help us bring back the body of my father so that we can perform his last rites,” Gopal’s son Jatin said.

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