Jagannathan Selvaraj, a native of Tiruchirappalli, is known as the man who walked 1,000 km over a year to attend labour court proceedings in Dubai while fighting a case for his flight ticket to India. And he is finally home now, all thanks to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
As an expat in Dubai, 48-year-old Jagannathan used to walk 22 km one way to reach the court once in every 15 days. The bus journey from Sonapur, where he was living, to the court, cost a few dirhams, but Jagannathan couldn’t afford that. He went up and down to the court about 20 times over a year, and one trip used to take about four hours. Jagannathan started these visits to the court when his mother lost her life back in Tamil Nadu and he was denied leave to attend her funeral.
“My case number was 826 and I had to walk 2 hours in the morning to reach the court in Dubai. I used to get up early morning at 4am on the days the court was to hear my case. Every 15 days, I had to walk all the way to the court because I did not have the money to pay for bus or taxi,” he told Khaleej Times.
Recently, Sushma Swaraj came to know about Jagannathan after she read about him in a report and she asked the Indian Embassy in Dubai for a report on his case.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) November 30, 2016
Post this, she quickly sprung into action and within a week ensured that he reached home. She shared the news about the same on Twitter.
We have brought him back to India and sent him to his village. He went up and down to the court 20 times over a year. That made it 1000 Kms. https://t.co/UGxjGE1Uhf
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) December 6, 2016
According to reports, Jagannathan was living in a public parking area in Sonapur for several months now and was desperate to reach home.