Gugger, whose biological mother abandoned him soon after birth, has an inspiring journey - from Karnataka’s Udupi town to Parliament of Switzerland.
Niklaus-Samuel Gugger, 48, is all set to become first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament. Gugger, whose biological mother abandoned him soon after birth, has an inspiring journey – from Karnataka’s Udupi town to Parliament of Switzerland. Gugger was born in Udupi’s CSI Lombard Memorial Hospital, run by Basel Mission. Within a week of his abandonment, Gugger was adopted by a Swiss couple — Fritz and Elizbeth. His new parents took him to Kerala when he was just 15 days old, and they lived there for around four years before moving to their native place in Switzerland. Well, the adoption didn’t end Niklaus’ ordeals. In Switzerland, Niklaus had to drive trucks and work as a gardener as his adoptive parents were not rich enough to finance his higher studies. Talking to IANS at the first PIO-Parliamentarian Conference, Niklaus said his mother, Anasuiya, handed him over to Dr ED Pflugfelder — now deceased — just after his birth, requesting him to give me to a couple who could rear him in a better way and help make a good career.
Niklaus spent initial four years of his life in Thalassery in Kerala where his new mother Elizabeth worked as a teacher of German and English, while father Fritz was a tool-maker in Nattur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF). “Later, my new parents moved to Switzerland where I worked as a truck driver, gardener and mechanic to pay for my higher studies. I had to go through this because my parents were not so rich as to bear the burden of my studies. They gave me food and clothes,” he told IANS.
After finishing studies, he indulged in social work while simultaneously earning livelihood. In 2002, he was elected town councillor from Winterthur city northeast of Zurich near the German border. “And subsequently, in November 2017, I was elected as a member of Switzerland parliament on the ticket of the Evangelical People’s Party — a minority party. I am the first Indian to be elected as an MP in Switzerland’s parliament,” said Gugger narrating his story.
The Swiss politician further claimed he would be the only Indian in the Swiss parliament for at least the next decade as there was no other active Indian-origin politician in the country.
One the youngest members of the Swiss parliament, Niklaus added that he also worked in an orphanage between 1992 and 1993 in the US city of Columbia. Better known as ‘Nik’ Swiss political circle, he also had a long association with Kerala’s NTTF institute, which lends a helping hand to students pursuing their technical education in India and Switzerland.