Homecoming: H.D. Kote youthreturns from strife-torn Israel
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Homecoming: H.D. Kote youthreturns from strife-torn Israel

October 30, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Many resilient young Indians have safely returned home from Israel, carrying with them a remarkable story of courage and survival. One of these extraordinary individuals is S.G. Swami, a 28-year-old resident of Kodasige village in H.D. Kote taluk of Mysuru district.

He embarked on a journey back to his homeland amidst an escalating conflict in Israel that had been making international headlines. Swami successfully returned home on Oct. 15.

For Swami and his family, the return home was a poignant moment, as they had spent anxious hours in front of the television, following the Hamas attacks on Israel and its subsequent defence. Images of bombings, air strikes, and the sound of explosions had given them sleepless nights, with the family praying constantly for the safe return of their beloved son, who had gone to a foreign country to pursue higher education.

Swami’s father, Girimada Nayak, his mother, Chikkamma, his wife Shobha, whom he had married just six months ago, and his siblings, S.G. Girish and S.G. Krishna, were all tense as the situation escalated into a full-fledged war between Israel and Hamas.

Went to Israel for higher studies

Swami, a dedicated member of the local farming community, had carved an impressive academic trajectory. He earned an M.Sc in Chemistry from Bangalore University and went on to pursue a Ph.D. He also served as a committed guide for research students at the university, nurturing the aspirations of budding scientists.

For a long time, he had harboured dreams of conducting cutting-edge research in Israel. In November 2022, those dreams became a reality when he embarked on post-doctoral studies in organic chemistry at the prestigious Volcani Institute, Israel’s national centre of innovation, located in Rishon LeZion, near Jerusalem. Swami had even rented a house close to his institute for convenience.

However, the outbreak of conflict in Israel presented an unforeseen challenge for Swami and his family back home. Recounting the events of the fateful day, Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a terror attack on unsuspecting Israelis, Swami shared his experience.

Booming sirens

Since it was a weekend, he had the day off. “I was asleep at 6 pm when I heard the sirens and the booming sound of the attack. I immediately ran to the well-fortified shelter, ingeniously designed to withstand rocket attacks and equipped with essential supplies, as well as emergency exits for immediate safety,” he recalled.

The shelter’s fortified windows and doors, constructed with robust steel, provided significant protection. Residents meticulously adhered to safety protocols and instructions in the event of a rocket attack, which proved to be instrumental in ensuring their well-being.

Swami also mentioned the ‘Home Front Command’ app, designed by the Israel Defence Force, for people to escape such attacks. It continuously provided real-time information and detailed guidance on what to do. Swami followed the instructions and remained safe.

As the conflict unfolded, the Israeli Government displayed remarkable coordination in providing crucial information to residents, reinforcing their safety.

Mutual coordination for safety

This collaborative approach eliminated the necessity for residents to consider relocating to other regions. Even food and water supply, as well as sanitation, were well-managed, with people working together with the authorities to ensure mutual coordination.

Swami expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering support extended by various organisations and compassionate fellow residents. He explained, “The moment I decided to return to India, arrangements were made by the Israelis in a professional manner. They helped with the visa and made all the necessary arrangements. They gave me a warm send-off and assured me that I could return to Israel once I felt safe.”

Swami also revealed that he had planned to bring his wife to Israel and had prepared her passport and visa. However, due to the ongoing strife, his family no longer wishes him to go there. He has decided to continue teaching at Bangalore University and be closer to his loved ones.


Mysuru’s favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 45 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it’s readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.


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