Abandoned In Karnataka, Brought Up In Kerala, This Indian Is Now A Swiss Parliamentarian
Born in CSI Lombard hospital in Udupi, Karnataka, Niklaus-Samuel Gugger was abandoned by his biological mother Anasuiya. Within a week, a Swiss couple adopted him. Fritz and Elizabeth had taken the 15-day-old Niklaus to Kerala. After four years, his adoptive parents took him to Switzerland. Now, 48 years after he was abandoned, he his the first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament.
Fighting against all the odds, Niklaus-Samuel Gugger, commonly known as Nik Gugger became the first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament. Talking to IANS Niklaus said: “My mother, Anasuiya, handed me over to Dr E. D. Pflugfelder now deceased just after my birth, requesting him to give me to a couple who could rear me in a better way and help me make a good career.”
Niklaus’ adoptive parents took him to Thalassery, Kerala where they were working for a development project of the Swiss Protestant Church. When he was four years old, his parents moved to Switzerland. His adoptive father Fritz was working with the deaf and dumb home Uetendorfberg Foundation, and later, his parents took over the management of a retirement home. So, Niklaus learned the lessons to serve the society since childhood.
Since Fritz and Elizabeth were not wealthy couples, Niklaus had to do various jobs like driving trucks and working as a gardener. “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. They trained me in other things, ” said Niklaus to IANS.
After his schooling, he was graduated in mechanics. A social internship in Columbia led him to social work. In 2002, Nik 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,” he added.
Nik is also working with Gundert Foundation in Thalassery which gives modern education to children of all caste. He is the co-founder of a consulting firm ‘Herzkraftwerk AG’ in Winterthur offering coaching for decision makers of business and other non-profit organisations.