Karachi: Geeta, the deaf-mute Indian woman living in Pakistan, is all set to return home on October 26 after both the governments gave final clearances for her journey back, over a decade after she strayed across the border.
Geeta 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. Police took her to the charitable Edhi Foundation in Lahore and later she was shifted to a shelter home in Karachi.
23-year-old Geeta has been staying at the Edhi Foundation shelter home here for over a decade. Fahad Edhi of the Edhi Foundation told PTI today that Geeta would leave by a PIA flight on Monday morning for New Delhi.
She will be accompanied by me, my father Faisal Edhi, my mother and my grandmother Bilqees Edhi," Fahad said. He said they had got assurances that they would remain in New Delhi until the Indian authorities completed DNA tests to confirm the parentage of Geeta.
"We are going with her because she recognises the family in the photograph sent to us by the Indian High Commission as her family. But the DNA tests will confirm this," Fahad said. He said the Indian authorities had assured them that if the DNA tests came negative Geeta would be placed in safe custody.
"She has been with us for so many years, she is like a family member and we would have liked her to remain with us, But obviously she wants to be in her country and with her real family," he said. He said the Pakistan and Indian governments have completed all formalities for Geeta's journey back home.
Geeta has identified her father, step-mother and siblings from a photograph sent to her by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The family reportedly lives in Bihar. 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.