After spending over ’10 years of solitude’ at Bilquis Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Geeta, the deaf-mute girl, who had accidentally crossed the Indian border to Pakistan, finally reached India early Monday morning. She was welcomed in Delhi by officials from the Pakistani High Commission and India’s foreign ministry. In a rare gesture, the Indian government will treat the members of Edhi Foundation as state guests, the HT reported.
In the evening, Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit and his wife will host a reception for Geeta and those accompanying her. She is expected to be reunited with her family after they clear the DNA test that was conducted earlier.
After reaching India on Pakistan International Airlines Flight PK-272, Geeta was beaming with joy and certainly it was the happiest day of her life.
Her story garnered massive media interest in India and Pakistan, especially after the release of Bollywood film Bajrangi Bhaijan which features Salman Khan taking the responsibility of sending a deaf and mute girl, Munni, back to her relatives in Pakistan. Apparently the audience found Munni’s story very similar to Geeta’s real life story.
Geeta has apparently entered the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on a train from India nearly 10 years ago. She was found by police and sent to a state-run shelter.
She was then moved to Edhi Foundation, which is Pakistan’s largest and best-known charity.
Soon after her story became popular and India accepted Geeta to be one of their citizens
, the central government went to extra lengths to find her family.
Efforts that started back in August, finally paid of as few weeks ago when at least three families identified Geeta from her old photographs and claimed her to be their daughter.
While the government is conducting DNA test so as to make sure that Geeta goes to the right family, both the Pakistani and Indian media are closely following Geeta’s journey back home. Talking about Geeta moving to India, Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation said:
“She’s not really separating from us. We will keep in touch with her.”
Authorities have said they will conduct a DNA test before handing her over to any family. If the tests are negative, she will be cared for at a shelter home in India until her family is traced.
Earlier this month, on Geeta’s request, the makers of the movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ also decided to dub the movie in sign-language
so that move haring impaired people, like Geeta could watch the movie. Welcome “India’s Daughter” back home Ministry of External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: Swaraj’s tweet was soon re-tweeted by MEA’s official Vikas Swarup, who too welcomed Geeta back to India and Tweeted: