External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met Geeta, the speech and hearing impaired girl, who crossed over to Pakistan several years ago and returned to India in October 2015. The girl, is staying at an institute for hearing and speech impaired persons since her returning. Swaraj and Geeta spent nearly 45 minutes together in a hotel and exchanged gifts ahead of Diwali, the institute’s director Monika Punjabi Verma told reporters.
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During the meeting, Swaraj hinted that Geeta would be helped to undertake the journey to search for her parents in places which she had indicated by sign language, she said. The minister did not disclose whether Geeta would be taken to those places by train or by other mode of transport, Verma said.
There was a move to help Geeta to undertake rail journey to different places to search for her parents in June but possibly due to rainy season, the plan could not materialise, she said. Earlier, several couples had come forward claiming to be Geeta’s parents, but she did not recognise any of them and could not substantiate their claims.
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Geeta claims she knew the place where she was separated from her parents years ago. The girl is now learning Hindi, English and arithmetic. Sushma had met Geeta last December in the city and assured her that the Centre is making every effort to trace her parents. Geeta was 7 or 8-years-old when she was found sitting alone in the Samjhauta Express at Lahore station by Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago.
She was then adopted by Bilquis Edhi of Edhi Foundations. Her story came to light after the release of Salman Khan-starrer “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, in which the character essayed by Salman reunites a Pakistani girl with her mother.