Amidst the many updates flooding social media on how to provide and find help in Chennai, foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj posted a tweet on Monday that would possibly ease the minds of many.
For the numerous whose passports would have turned into a soggy mess, the minister posted that new passports would be issued free of cost. She also mentioned where one could go to avail the service.
If your passport is lost or damaged in floods, pl go to any of three PSKs in Chennai. They will issue u fresh passport free of charge. Pl RT— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) December 7, 2015
She went one step further and delegated the task of resolving all passport-related issues to the Minister of State for External Affairs, General VK Singh.
I have asked my colleague @Gen_VKSingh to resolve all Passport issues. Pl raise these matters with him.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) December 3, 2015
Exercising one of the key elements of Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative which aims at bridging the communication gap between citizens and the government, Sushma Swaraj’s tweet was quickly picked up by quite a few social media users.
This wasn’t the first time Swaraj leveraged social media to help those who posted their distress online.
For instance, in August this year, Swaraj helped an Indian girl held in captivity in UAE after a Twitter user, Dev Tamboli, addressed the minister asking that his sister be rescued. Swaraj promptly replied to him saying that she had asked the Indian Ambassador in UAE to help. The Indian embassy had alerted the Dubai police and soon launched an operation to bring the girl to safety.
Prior to that in May, Swaraj helped a woman who lost her passport in Germany. Agratha Dinakaran tweeted that she had lost her passport and money in Germany and mentioned that she could not reach the Indian embassy as it was closed for the day. Swaraj replied by asking for her contact details so that concerned authorities could get in touch with her.