NEW DELHI :
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday responded to tweets by several Indians abroad seeking help, signalling continuation of his predecessor Sushma Swaraj's social media outreach in assisting people in distress.
Swaraj leaves a legacy of an easily-accessible External Affairs Minister who helped the diaspora in distress through Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Jaishankar responded to calls for help by several Indians abroad, assuring them that Indian missions in respective countries were trying to address their issues.
When one Mahalakshmi tweeted seeking help to her family members whose passports were lost in Italy during a trip, Jaishankar said, "Our Embassy in Rome/Consul General in Munich will extend all assistance. Please be in touch with them @IndiainItaly @cgmunich." The new external affairs minister also responded to a Twitter user's request for help in finding her husband in Kuwait and bringing him to India. She said her husband is not responding to court summons and living peacefully in Kuwait.
To this, Jaishankar tweeted: "Our Embassy in Kuwait is already working on it. Please be in touch with them @indembkwt." Responding to another on national education policy, he said it was a only a draft report and that no language will be imposed. "The National Education Policy as submitted to the Minister HRD is only a draft report. Feedback shall be obtained from general public. State Governments will be consulted. Only after this the draft report will be finalised. GoI respects all languages. No language will be imposed," he said.
As the draft education policy recommends introduction of Hindi from pre-school, there have been voices of opposition, especially from in Tamil Nadu, to the recommendation.
In his first official Twitter post, Jaishankar on Saturday said he was "proud to follow on the footsteps" of Swaraj.
"My first tweet. Thank you all for the best wishes! Honoured to be given this responsibility. Proud to follow on the footsteps of @SushmaSwaraj ji," he said.
In a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked the seasoned diplomat to helm the key ministry, nearly 16 months after he retired as foreign secretary.
Jaishankar served as foreign secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and both he and Swaraj, the external affairs minister in the previous government, were credited for bringing vibrancy in India's foreign policy.
Jaishankar's appointment is seen as Modi's attempt to add further strategic heft to India's external engagement.
"We at Team @MEAIndia continue to be at your service 24x7. Happy to be leading the effort with my colleague MoS Muraleedharan ji @VMBJP," Jaishankar said in another tweet on Saturday.
As external affairs minister in the previous government, Swaraj was known for prompt response on Twitter in addressing grievances of the overseas Indians. Her interaction with the diaspora through social media, established her as someone who can be reached in distress with just the click of a mouse.