Geeta comes home: Bollywood movie helps lost Indian girl return from Pakistan …

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Deaf-mute Indian woman flies home.

NEW DELHI – Some 15 years after she strayed across the border in a train and was stranded in Pakistan, speech and hearing impaired Geeta made an emotional return to India on Monday to be reunited with her family. Geeta, the aurally and speech-challenged girl, who has been living in Pakistan for the last decade, after having accidentally crossed the border, has finally arrived in New Delhi, today.

Faisal Edhi, of the Edhi foundation, interacting with reporters, said, they would continue to stay in touch with Geeta through social media, and even visit her. “She is not really separating from us,” he said. Pakistan International Airlines flight PK 272 carrying 23-year-old Geeta from Karachi landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.30 am where she was given a warm welcome. The story of Geeta, a Hindu woman in her early 20s, has captivated people on both sides of the border at a time of heightened tension between the nuclear-armed rivals. “A daughter returns home.

After being stuck without any leads for years, her case came under the spotlight a few months ago, after the release of the Bollywood movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan across India and Pakistan in July. Geeta will undergo a DNA test which will establish her relation with her family.“We will do a DNA test to establish conclusive proof of relation with the family Geeta has identified. We thank both the countries for their efforts to unite Geeta with the family,” Vinod Kumar, who says he is her brother, told reporters as he waited at the airport to greet her.

Before boarding the flight in Karachi, a beaming Geeta, clad in a red and white shalwar-kameez, used sign language to thank the Pakistani people for hosting her and caring for her. She was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. She would point at maps of India, especially to an area in the south of Jharkhand until she was able to finally communicate she was from India, not Pakistan. Wearing a traditional red outfit with her head covered by a loose scarf, she smiled, waved to television cameras, and joined her hands in a traditional Indian greeting before climbing into a van to the airport. “Geeta stayed with us for 13 years.

Her long-awaited return comes after Geeta indicated earlier this month that she recognised a photograph of a family from the eastern state of Bihar sent to her by Indian authorities. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, T C A Raghavan, and his wife had visited Geeta in August after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directed him to meet her and try to locate her family. If the tests turn out negative, she would be placed in a home either in Delhi or Indore. “We are happy that finally she is going home,” said Faisal Edhi, the son of Edhi Foundation chief Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Indian authorities have said that if the DNA testing proves Geeta is not related to the family from Bihar, they will place her in a “suitable institution”. After repeated false leads in the effort to find her family, Geeta’s story received a publicity boost in August when a Bollywood film with a similar plot became a smash hit. The family reportedly is from Bihar. “This is my father, and my younger brother,” Geeta told the media through a combination of sign language and facial expressions as she pointed to the photograph. Tags: Bajrangi Bhaijaan turned focus on Geeta’s story, Edhi Foundation gave Geeta shelter, Future awaits Geeta in India, Geeta gets warm welcome at Delhi airport, Geeta returns to India, Geeta to reunite with family after DNA test, Geeta’s Diwali will be in India, Lost girl Geeta identifies family

On her wishlist is a chance to meet Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor Salman Khan even before she gets to see her parents, and a desire to see the movie dubbed in sign language.

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