Geeta, who currently lives in Indore and after she was brought back to India in October 2015, paid tributes to the late Minister in sign language.
Called “India’s daughter” by Sushma Swaraj, Geeta had failed to find her family although many claimed to be her parents. Sushma Swaraj even tried to play a matchmaker for Geeta and sought marriage proposals for her.
Condolences and tributes to the former Foreign Minister, who died on Tuesday night after suffering a cardiac arrest, came in from neighbouring Pakistan also.
Taking to Twitter, Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said he will miss his social media melee with Sushma Swaraj. “She was a giant in her own right,” the Minister said.
Chaudhry, who was Information and Broadcasting Minister, and Sushma Swaraj had a Twitter spat in March 2019 over Hindu girls who were allegedly abducted in Pakistan.
Sushma Swaraj, who had over 13 million followers on Twitter, was active on tweeting about major happenings. She made Twitter a helpline for people in distress, making sure she was easily approachable.
In this way, she gave the human touch to the Ministry of External Affairs and won millions of admirers across the world, including many in Pakistan.
She helped several people from Pakistan get an Indian visa for various medical reasons, from an open-heart surgery to a liver transplant.
In 2017, she won admiration when she granted a year-long medical visa to a Pakistani girl Shireen Shiraz for an open heart surgery.
The girl’s mother, Hira Shiraz, had that time tweeted: “Ma’am @SushmaSwaraj this is humble request to approve our pending medical visa request of my 1year daughter for her open heart surgery”
Sushma Swaraj responded: “We are giving visa for the open heart surgery of your one year old daughter Shireen Shiraz in India.”
The former Foreign Minister helped another Pakistani citizen, Shahzaib Iqbal, who reached out to her for help in getting a medical visa for the liver transplant of his cousin in November 2017.
He approached her on Twitter saying: “After allah you are our last hope.. kindly allow Islamabad Embassy (meaning Indian High Commission) to issue us medical visa.”
In reply, Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “India will not belie your hope. We will issue the visa immediately.”
Twitterati from Pakistan joined Indians in paying tributes to the former Foreign Minister.
“Sad to hear shocking news about #SushmaSwaraj. The personality of Sushma mam had an image of Iron lady. She also helped the Pakistani people, may Allah give peace to the departed soul.#RIPSushmaJi” tweeted one user from Pakistan.
“We as Muslims don’t believe in dusra Janam… But if there’s any, I would want #sushmaswaraj to be born in Pakistan and become a politician here..” tweeted another Pakistani user.
“I am from Pakistan, and we are not laughing, but actually commended all her work. We share the pain of this sudden demise,” said a tweet.