In 2000, a 5-year-old girl was taken by the Punjab Rangers of Pakistan to Bilquis Edhi, the woman who has been dubbed ‘The Mother of Pakistan’ for her active philanthropic work. The girl was deaf and mute so communication was a problem.
The girl’s habit of doing Namaste and touching elders’ feet, however, made Bilquis realize that the girl was Hindu, so she was named Geeta.
Slowly, as they got used to Geeta’s sign language, they learned that she had seven brothers and three sisters, and was from India. On a map, she recognized Jharkhand and Telengana as being connected to her past.
The people at Bilquis Edhi Foundation tried very hard to find Geeta’s parents but were unsuccessful at every turn.
Meeting between High Commissioner Raghavan and Geeta in Karachi twitter
Meanwhile, the shelter has done much to make Geeta feel at home. They have given her a space where they have placed idols and posters of Hindu gods so she can pray to them. Geeta learns Hindi words by copying them from magazines.
In Geeta’s writings, the number 193 is often repeated. No one is sure about its significance though some think it may be her house number.
Ansar Burney and Geeta
Geeta, now 23, has been living in Karachi. Over the last few years, her case has been reported via various news media; she has social activists and even Pakistan’s former Federal Mister for Human Rights, Ansar Burney, trying hard to ensure that she reaches her homeland.
Salman Khan has asked director Kabir Khan to find out how he can help Geeta meet her family. The matter has also reached Sushma Swaraj.
Perhaps Geeta will soon be home. Though if her parents aren’t found or aren’t willing to take her back, Geeta might end up in another shelter.