An Indian woman who has been stuck in Pakistan ever since she accidentally crossed over as a child has drawn attention of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has asked Indian envoy TC Raghavan to personally go and meet her in Karachi.
The girl’s story is intriguingly similar to the film plot of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s latest movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, in which a young speech-impaired girl from Pakistan finds herself in India with no way to return home. An Indian man then takes up her cause and decides to take her to her family in Pakistan.
On hearing 23-year-old Geeta’s real life story, who is also speech and hearing-impaired, Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted this morning, taking stock of the issue herself.
I have asked Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr TCA Raghavan to go to Karachi with Mrs Raghavan and meet this girl. @AnsarBurney
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 3, 2015
Geeta was only nine when she mistakenly crossed into Pakistani territory. Punjab Rangers personnel took her to the Edhi Foundation in Lahore before she was moved to a home in Karachi.
“For years, we have been trying to locate her family or her hometown,” the Edhi Foundation said.
A Facebook campaign has also been started by the foundation in order to help Geeta find her home. “Please Help find Geeta’s Home. An Indian girl stranded in Pakistan,” the campaign statement reads.
Geeta can faintly recognize the Indian map but she hasn’t been able to provide much information to trace her original whereabouts. From what she says, officials believe her father hails from Jharkhand and mother from Telangana. Geeta has also conveyed that she has 11 siblings in all, including four sisters. Her house number could be ‘193’ as she keeps scribbling the number in her notebook.
A separate prayer room has also been inaugurated in Geeta’s shelter home in Pakistan where deities of gods such as Ganesha are installed.
Geeta’s cause was also taken up by former Pakistan minister and rights activist Ansar Burney during his visit to India three years ago.
The success of the film Bajrangi Bhaijaan has made Geeta even more hopeful of finding her family in India.