KARACHI: Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired Indian girl stranded in Karachi for 13 years, has finally recognized her parents, Samaa reported Thursday.
According to Samaa correspondent, 20-year-old deaf and mute girl, who lives in Edhi Foundation’s women shelter, was provided picture of her parents, which she recognised.
“The picture was provided to us by Indian embassy. It featured Geeta’s parents along with four brothers and a sister… She immediately recognised her family members,” Faisal Edhi, the organisation’s acting chief, spoke to Samaa correspondent.
He said that Geeta hails from Bihar state of India, adding that arrangements have been finalized to send her home on Oct 26.
News of her plight surfaced in 2012 but no progress was made in tracing her roots.
Following media coverage few months back, the Indian government pledged to bring her home.
Geeta will be back in India soon. We have located her family. She will be handed over to them only after the DNA test.#Geeta
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 15, 2015
India’s High Commissioner (ambassador) to Pakistan T.C.A. Raghavan visited Geeta to collect preliminary information regarding her home and parents.
And afterwards Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj vowed to bring the story to a movie-style happy ending, tweeting: “We will bring Geeta back to India.”
Geeta, then aged 11 or 12, had no identity papers when she was found by police alone and disorientated on a train that had crossed the border into Lahore. Even the name Geeta was given to her by Edhi staff.
She was handed over to Edhi officials, who have looked after her ever since.
In Karachi she lives at an Edhi shelter for women and girls in a bustling area of the old city, where they discovered she was Hindu and set up a place for her to worship.
Geeta rings bells and lights incense and earthenware lamps to pray to different Hindu gods, whose images are kept on a table topped with a white cloth.
“She worships her deities in the temple and also offers prayers with her Muslim fellows and even fasts in the holy month of Ramadan,” Edhi said. – Samaa/AFP