Hyderabad women Zainab Bee and Ameena Begum could not believe their ears when they heard about former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's death yesterday. Ms Swaraj's efforts had helped them break away from the chains of slavery in Gulf and return to their families in India.
With tears in her eyes, Zainab Bee said that Ms Swaraj's death has devastated her.
"I could not sleep the whole night when I was informed that Sushma ji is no more. It is very upsetting for me. She helped me so much. I could not eat or sleep. I had no hope that I will be able to come to India, but only because of her efforts, I was able to see my family in India," she told news agency ANI.
Describing the violence she faced when she was stranded in Saudi Arabia, she said, "I was abused by the people and made to work in three houses without food and water. I did not have any money and was not allowed to talk to my family in India."
Ameena, who was rescued last year from Dammam in Saudi Arabia, said, "I requested Sushma ji to help me come to India. She reached out to me in 2018, a year after I went to Saudi Arabia and I was able to return to India. She rescued me from the atrocities I was facing there. I am very upset that Sushma Swaraj ji is no more. This is very disheartening to me. She helped a lot of people."
Ms Swaraj was admitted to All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi after her health worsened. She died around 9 pm, said Delhi's AIIMS hospital.
Politicians across the board visited her home to pay their last respects to Sushma Swaraj, described as an outstanding orator besides a "People's Minister" with remarkable empathy and administrative smarts.
The 67-year-old was appointed the foreign minister in the first term of the Narendra Modi government in 2014. She opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing ill health.
The BJP veteran was cremated with state honours this afternoon in the presence of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP patriarch LK Advani among others.
(With Inputs From ANI)
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