Free Press Journal

Russian found begging outside temple in Tamil Nadu, Sushma Swaraj tweets to offer help

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Photo by Vijay Verma

External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj has made a name for herself by coming to the help of Indians trapped in difficult situations in foreign countries and foreigners with a similar plight in India. And the latest beneficiary of this is a 24-year-old Russian who was forced to beg for alms at the entrance of Sri Kumarakottam Temple in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu due to an unfortunate incident.

On seeing his travel documents and a valid visa, a sub-inspector gave him Rs 500 to help him go back to Chennai and contact the Russian Consulate for help, reported India Today. On learning of Evangelin’s plight through the papers, Swaraj quickly tweeted, “Evangelin – Your country Russia is our time-tested friend. My officials in Chennai will provide you all help.”


Evangelin, who came to India on September 24, had gone to Kancheepuram from Chennai and after visiting a few temples in the town, he went to an ATM kiosk but was unable to draw money as his ATM card’s PIN had got locked. Evangelin has been travelling through India since September 24. On Tuesday, October 10, he arrived in Kanchipuram in Chennai and when he tried to withdrawing some money from an ATM, somehow, his card got blocked, leaving Evangelin with no money to fend for himself. Left with no option, Evangelin decided to join the beggars outside a temple so he could raise some money. The incident was reported to the local police, who promptly arrived at the temple to investigate.

And like always, Twitterati praised Swaraj’s promptness.

However, on October 11, a Russian consulate official told PTI that Evangelin had not contacted them, not had answered their calls to his mobile phone when they tried to call him.

Meanwhile, in another incident, yesterday, Swaraj directed the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to reach out to an Indian woman who claims to be in danger in Saudi Arabia at the earliest after a video of her begging for help from Bhagwant Mann, the Aam Aadmi Party’s MP from Sangrur district in Punjab, started circulating online.

In the video, the woman cries uncontrollably as she details her torture at the hands of her employers for the past one year. She claims that she has been living in Dawadmi, located about 200 km from the capital city of Riyadh, as a slave and is ill-treated and fears for her life. She also alleges that when she managed to escape and went to the police for help, they too beat her up and took her back to her employers. She pleads with Mann to rescue her, the way he had helped other Indians trapped in a similar situation.