Neeta Bhushan offers condolences, announces scholarship
Neeta Bhushan, consul general of India in the Chicago Consulate, came to the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City July 12 to meet with students and offer her condolences on the tragic death of student Sharath Koppu.
Koppu, a graduate student in computer science, was killed during an armed robbery at a restaurant July 7. Bhushan was accompanied by Deepak Kant Vyas, a St. Louis businessman who is active in the Indian-American community regionally and nationally. Bhushan, Vyas and UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal – also a native of India – spoke to a gathering of Indian students in the UMKC Student Union.
“I am here to share your grief and sorrow,” Bhushan told the students. “This is when we need God’s help the most.
“You are fortunate to have the opportunity to study at UMKC,” she added. “The chancellor and the provost have expressed their grief, and I could tell it was from the heart.” She also praised the responsiveness of Kansas City’s city government and police in the wake of the tragedy.
Agrawal called the gathering “family coming together” and spoke openly of his personal shock and grief from Koppu’s death, which came barely weeks after he came to Kansas City to begin his chancellorship.
“This hit me very hard. I could not sleep for two nights,” Agrawal said. “I have a son the same age as Sharath.
“Consul General Bhushan was right. UMKC people truly do care,” he added.
Vyas discussed his longstanding relationship with the University of Missouri System, and its openness to foreign students, including those from India. He added that despite the tragedy, “Missouri is a very safe place to be.”
Agrawal reinforced the point. “The USA is not a place to be afraid of, and it is still the gold standard for higher education.”
Vyas announced that he was endowing a scholarship in Koppu’s name at UMKC. Details on the scholarship were not immediately available.