At a programme organised by the UP Urdu Akademi on Wednesday, member of the BJP minority cell Asif Zaman Rizwi called former UP minister Sheema Rizwi a true icon of the slogan "Main ladki hoon lad sakti hoon," saying that Sheema climbed despite the barriers first for self-development and then to better the lives of those around her.

He stated during an event devoted to her, “having come from a conservative background, Dr Sheema had additional challenges to face than just adversity. But she did not give in to the odds and carved her own way which is an inspiration for every girl who wants to lead a self-reliant life.”

Sheema earned a PhD and a DLitt in Urdu before she died in 2009. She was a professor at Lucknow University's Urdu department.

She pursued a course in library sciences and languages, which required her to master Hindi, Arabic, Persian, and French in addition to her affinity for Urdu. Sheema served as a newsreader for national broadcaster Doordarshan and is the author of 17 novels.

Rizwana of the Urdu Academy hosted the memorial conference, which was followed by a mushaira in which notable poets such as Jauhar Kanpur, Shabina Adeeb, Manzar Bhopali, Makhmur Kakorvi, and Shyama Singh Saba performed their works.