Geeta, a deaf-mute Indian woman who accidentally crossed over to Pakistan more than a decade ago, today arrived in New Delhi to meet her long-lost family.
She was received at the airport by her father and brother, who came all the way from Bihar. Union Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet Geeta today afternoon at Ministry of External Affairs.
Geeta’s father, Janardhan Mahato, told The Indian Express before leaving for MEA: “Hira loved to get photographed as a child. Then we didnt have camera. what is happening today is destiny.
“I dont care about how many tests they want, if she embraces me that will be the biggest test for me. I spent five years looking for her in Ludhiana and have spent the last six years mourning. This is like rebirth for our family.”
Before boarding a Pakistan International Airlines flight to the Indian capital, a beaming Geeta thanked the Pakistani people for hosting and taking care of her throughout the years.
Faisal Edhi of the Edhi foundation told reporters that 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. The foundation’s Bilquis Edhi and her grandchildren, Saba and Saad Edhi, are accompanying Geeta to New Delhi, Pakistani media reported.
Geeta, now 23, was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by Pakistani Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. She was adopted by Bilquees Edhi and lived with her in Karachi.
Geeta has identified her family through a photograph sent to her by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The family reportedly is from Bihar.
According to Faisal Edhi, Geeta had told them through sign language that her father was an elderly man and she had a stepmother and step siblings.
with inputs from Pritha Chatterjee