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The wife of a 48-year-old man, who is believed to have died of a heart attack in Tokyo on December 10, on Saturday approached the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) seeking help to bring his body home. Commission chairperson Swati Maliwal wrote a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking her intervention.
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Gopal Ram, whose family lives in Madangir near Ambedkar Nagar, had been working in Tokyo as a cook since September 29, 2015, his elder son Jatin Kumar (23) said. “We spoke to him in the morning. He only said he had a headache… We approached the embassy to get his body back, but we were told to authorise someone in Tokyo to accept the body. We don’t know anyone there,” said Jatin.
Urging Sushma to come to the aid of Ram’s family, Maliwal wrote to her: “The woman (Ram’s wife) has approached the commission to seek assistance for repatriation of her husband’s body to India for performing last rites. She has said she has no means of ensuring the same as her family is financially weak and is unable to bear the expenses.”
Ram is survived by his wife Radha Debi, two sons and a daughter. “The family is severely distressed and needs your kind support. As we are aware, you have been extremely pro-active in resolving such matters. Therefore, I am forwarding the representation along with this letter for your kind perusal. Hoping for your support in this matter,” Maliwal wrote. She also wished the minister, under treatment at AIIMS for kidney failure, a speedy recovery.
“Papa went to Japan through an agent. But he was fired from his workplace in three months after which he started working in a local restaurant, where he didn’t even get paid. He was treated very badly at his first workplace. He couldn’t earn enough to return home,” Jatin claimed.
“We just want to bring his mortal remains home. We will get a post-mortem done once his body comes. But at a time like this, we can’t run from pillar to post. We really need the government’s help,” Jatin said, adding that Ram earlier worked as a cook in a Delhi hotel and specialised in Indian and Chinese cuisine.