‘Sushma ji had a mother’s heart’: UP women abandoned by NRI husbands

Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was an accessible minister, say women of Uttar Pradesh who had approached her for help after being deserted by their non-resident Indian (NRI) husbands.
Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj dies in New Delhi on Tuesday.(AP Photo)
Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj dies in New Delhi on Tuesday.(AP Photo)
Updated on Aug 07, 2019 08:28 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By

The news of the demise of former external affairs minister and Bharatiya Janata Party veteran, Sushma Swaraj, has deeply saddened many women of Uttar Pradesh who had approached her for help after being deserted by their non-resident Indian (NRI) husbands.

“In Uttar Pradesh, such cases have been increasing over the years. Many survivors met Sushma ji when she was the minister for external affairs. She was a completely accessible minister with a mother’s heart. I met her for a few minutes and she listened to my ordeal patiently, assuring me of government’s intervention in my case,” said Zuby Zaidi, a survivor who met Swaraj on June 11, 2017, in New Delhi.

Zaidi got married to an NRI on April 10, 2014. However, in just two months, she received a divorce notice. Since then, she has been fighting for justice. “When I met Sushma ji, I felt that she understood my pain. In her demise, I have lost a family member,” she said.

Another survivor from Kanpur who did not wish to be identified said, “Our fight for justice is on but no one other than Sushma ji understood our pain. She was the one who listened to my story, consoled me and took action in my case.”

Some survivors who met the former minister in March, this year, said that she had assured them that the government was enacting a law pertaining to NRI marriages.

“She had asked us to meet her after the Lok Sabha elections. When one of us asked Sushma ji if she would remain in the same office in the new government, she had said that she was hopeful of being able to help us out,” said a survivor.

Sushma Swaraj was brought home from hospital on Tuesday midnight when doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences could not resuscitate her. Swaraj, who had tweeted a ‘thank you’ note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hours earlier, had suffered a massive cardiac arrest and had been rushed to the hospital around 9.30 pm on Tuesday. She was 67. 

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