On 25 July 2023, a video emerged on social media, showing 37-year-old Syeda Lulu Minhaj Zaidi, a woman from Hyderabad pursuing her master's degree in the USA, in a distressing state on the streets of Chicago.
What The Viral Video Shows
The video, shared on Twitter by Amjed Ullah Khan, a spokesperson of the Majlis Bachao Tehreek on 26 July 2023, depicted Syeda Lulu Minhaj Zaidi sitting at a corner of a street with meagre belongings. In the footage, she struggled to recall her name at first but later identified herself as Minhaj Zaidi. Her frail appearance and evident distress raised serious concerns about her well-being.
When asked about her condition, she explained that she was taken to a hospital for treatment, but her health deteriorated further after blood samples were extracted from her body for testing.
In an interview given to Telangana Today on 27 July 2023, Amjed Ullah Khan shed light on the situation, saying, "Syeda Lulu Minhaj Zaidi from Hyd went to pursue MS from TRINE University, Detroit, was found in a very bad condition in Chicago, her mother appealed @DrSJaishankar to bring back her daughter."
A Mother's Plea
The distressed mother, Syeda Wahaj Fatima, immediately wrote a letter to the External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, seeking urgent help to bring her daughter back to India. Fatima expressed deep concern for Syeda's well-being, stating she had been in regular contact with her until two months ago. However, suddenly, communication ceased, and they only learned through two Hyderabad youths that her daughter was battling depression and had fallen prey to theft, which left her struggling to survive in a foreign land.
In her plea to the authorities, Fatima revealed:
"My daughter Syeda Lulu Minhaj Zaidi, a resident of Maula Ali in Telangana, went to pursue her Masters in Information Science from TRINE University, Detroit, USA, during August 2021. For, the past two months, she has not been in touch with me, and recently we came to know through two Hyderabad youths that my daughter is in depression, and someone stole her belongings, which left her to starvation. My daughter was spotted on the roads of Chicago in the USA"
Fatima also provided information to help locate her daughter. She urged the Embassy of India in Washington DC and the Indian Consulate in Chicago to take immediate action and facilitate her daughter's safe return to India.
In response to the distressing situation, the Consulate General of India in Chicago stated in an interview given to The News Minute on 27 July 2023, "We have just come to know about the case of Ms Syed Lulu Minhaj. Please DM to keep in touch."