Jaipur: As the nation mourns the death of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, a medical college student, who migrated from Pakistan to Jaipur in 2014, remembers the minister for hand-holding her in adverse situations to ensure that she gets admission in the medical college without falling into the citizenship row.
Pakistani Hindu student Mashal Maheshwari along with her father Dr Ashok Maheshwari and mother migrated from Sindh on account of religious persecution.
After shifting base to Jaipur, she took admission in class 11th and went on to score 91 per cent in class 12th. It was her parents’ dream to see their daughter become a doctor. However, being a migrant she was facing challenges in getting admission in a medical college.
“We were losing hopes,” said Mashal.
“Sushma Swaraj ji read my story on twitter, highlighted by various media houses. She immediately responded to it, consoled and convinced us. We asked her for help. She immediately assured us of every help,” recalled Mashal.
The news of Sushma Swaraj’s death left Mashal emotional. She said, “She was a well-grounded leader. We were surprised when she made us feel comfortable after listening to our problems. She never made us realise that she had so much power in her hands. Despite being unwell, she gave us time and ensured that there will be no delay in our work.
“Today, just because of her, I am a medical student in SMS Medical College in Jaipur. She was not only a dynamic leader but also a decent human being who handheld me like my mother during challenging times,” said Mashal.
“Whenever I study, I remember her. It is because of her efforts only that I am a medical student,” said Mashal.
Her father Dr Maheshwari said that such leaders are born once in many years. “We migrated to India considereing the future of the family. The minister read it in our eyes,” he said.
Remembering the meeting with Sushma Swaraj, Dr Maheshwari said, “I can still recall the moment when she put her hand on my daughter’s head as if she was her own daughter and said, ‘you need not worry… we will help you’.”
“She was a woman of substance in all her forms,” Mashal added.