Varanasi/Kolkata: Former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's demise is saddening and a personal loss to the country, said Saurabh Bhardwaj, a resident of Varanasi, who was rescued from Nigeria after Swaraj's intervention.
Swaraj, who passed away on Tuesday night, was the most accessible foreign minister and helped hundreds of people during her tenure. "I work in merchant navy. In 2016, when our ship was in Nigeria, some pirates took five people as hostages.
My wife reached out to Sushma ji on Twitter who responded within five minutes. She assured us all the help and she did it. After 45 days, I came to India. We are very sad about Sushma Ji's demise. It is a personal loss to us and for the country," Bhardwaj told ANI.
The BJP stalwart was also remembered by the family of Judith D'Souza, who was abducted in Kabul in 2016. Swaraj brought her back from the clutches of kidnappers.
"I was very sad when I read about Sushma's demise. She brought my daughter Judith who was abducted in Kabul in 2016. She could have done much more for the country but she died so early. She was a very humane person," Loreal D Souza, mother of Judith told ANI.
Sushma Swaraj was cremated with full state honours here on Wednesday as a galaxy of leaders cutting across political lines paid rich tributes and their last respects to her. 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.