13-04-2016

Passport issued in two hours for wife of injured seafarer

PP

In a remarkable instance of humanity overcoming the odds, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Kochi worked at lightning speed to issue passport in just two hours to the wife of a young merchant navy officer from Palakkad who has been hospitalised in Mexico following a serious accident.

Twitter

A Good Samaritan in the merchant navy fraternity made it possible by seeking the help of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter.

Ms. Swaraj spared no time in giving necessary instructions to expedite the application as soon as it was received.

On Monday, Sangeetha Muralidharan, from Nenmara, applied for passport at the Passport Seva Kendra in Thrissur in the morning and collected her passport a couple of hours later at the RPO, Kochi.

Accident

Her husband, K.M. Sudheesh, a 35-year-old marine electro technical officer aboard the ship NYK Silvia managed by Anglo Eastern Ship Management, had suffered a serious leg injury when he was repairing an accommodation ladder winch on the vessel, as it was leaving Port Manzanillo in Mexico on March 26.

It was a freak accident. The ladder collapsed, and he was flung to the side as one of his legs got caught in its metal wire rope.

He was eventually admitted to Clinic Cordoba Hospital, Colima, Mexico.

“His leg tissues were severely damaged and his knee was fractured. Three major blood vessels had ruptured too. As his condition worsened, we got information about him on April 8. We immediately approached the MEA seeking support in airlifting him to the U.S. for better treatment, but by then the infection had become unmanageable, with the doctors recommending amputation to save his life. The surgery was successfully conducted on Saturday night [Mexican time],” said Sebi Thomas, general secretary of the Association of Marine Electro Technical Officers (Ameto).

“Mr. Sudheesh has just joined merchant navy after serving the Indian Navy for 15 years. He is fairly young and has two small daughters. I was in constant touch with him since April 8, as I realised he was not happy with the treatment there and giving up hope. When amputation seemed to be the only option, I sought Ms. Swaraj’s help on Twitter to speed up the procedure for his wife’s passport. We are grateful to the Minister for the swift action,” Mr. Thomas told The Hindu.

According to Prasanth Chandran, RPO, the stipulated certification needed for tatkal issue of fresh passports could be done away with in this case as there was ministerial instruction.

Sushma Swaraj, whose help was sought on Twitter, spared no time in giving instructions

Source: The Hindu Business Standard

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