After spending 13 years under the generous affection of charity workers in Karachi, Geeta, an aurally and verbally challenged woman from India, is expected to return to a warm welcome on Monday.
The Ministry of External Affairs said that Geeta will be accompanied by seven members of the Edhi Foundation, the charity organisation that hosted her all these years.
Senior diplomats of the Pakistan High Commission will welcome Geeta at the Indira Gandhi International Airport when she arrives in a Pakistan Airways flight from Karachi.
According to Edhi Foundation, Geeta will be handed over by Bilquis Edhi to Mrs. Swaraj. “My mother Bilquis Edhi has taken care of Geeta all these years and she will return after ensuring Geeta’s care in India,” Faisal Edhi, managing trustee of the foundation, said from Karachi.
Following the press conference by the External Affairs Minister, the High Commissioner of Pakistan will felicitate members of the Edhi Foundation and Geeta on the High Commission premises. A Pakistani diplomatic source informed that the return of Geeta represents Pakistan’s commitment to allow people-to-people contact.
Geeta’s return is, however, the first step towards her amazing journey of discovering the family that she left behind after straying into Pakistan. Toward that end, following her arrival, Geeta will meet the family members from Bihar who have been claiming that Geeta belongs to them and was lost when she mistakenly walked across the India-Pakistan border in Punjab. “They will see each other for the first time,” said an official source.
However, India has stated clearly that Geeta will be allowed to be adopted only after a DNA test. The MEA has selected two organisations, working with special people, which can host Geeta in case the DNA test fails to prove her ties with the family from Bihar.
Founder of Edhi Foundation Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife Bilquis are very fond of Geeta and the story of Geeta became known after Bilquis Edhi began to introduce her to Indian visitors at the Foundation’s office in Karachi.