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Obama a messiah for Chennai family

india Updated: Jan 26, 2009 02:34 IST
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US President Barack Obama may have won more hearts around the world while running for Presidency, but for a Chennai family, he became a messiah five years ago when he helped a woman get a US visa.

For Sujatha Adsumilli, Obama has a special place in her heart. She even prayed for the success of the Illinois Senator after the Democrat was named for the Presidential race.

Sujatha wanted to fly to the US in 2004 for her son A Vijay Kumar's house warming ceremony, but officials at American consulate denied her a visa as she was a widow and they considered her a "potential immigrant", her elder son A Ramesh Kumar told PTI.

"Officials feared she could end up living there with my brother Vijay Kumar, who has US citizenship. Vijay wrote to then Illinois Senator Obama, telling him of the problem, who wrote to the State Department and the Consulate in Chennai asking them to consider the matter under Department of state guidelines," he said.

This was enough to spur the officials into action to grant her a 10 year multiple entry visa to the US.

Sujatha left for US in 2005 for the "grahapravesam" and also tried to personally thank Obama, but in vain. She rues missing the opportunity to meet him "as he had just left his office."

"But the staff at his office extended great hospitality and promised me that they would convey my greetings to him," Sujatha said.