Early Monday morning, Geeta, the Indian girl whose story was brought into the limelight by Bollywood blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan, landed at Delhi airport. She was accompanied by Pakistani officials and office-bearers of the Edhi Foundation.
Geeta reportedly strayed across the border a decade ago, at age 11, and has been living at the Edhi home shelter in Karachi for most of the time since that tragic event. Her misery was compounded by the fact that she suffers from speech and hearing impairment, so tracing her roots and reuniting her with her relatives soon became an abandoned task, given that no interest was shown from across the border.
Nevertheless, Salman Khan’s movie, which revolves around a Pakistani deaf-mute girl left behind at a religious festival, gave a voice to Geeta’s plight, with Indian authorities finally acknowledging her as a citizen in August of this year, and beginning a search for her long-lost family.
Geeta recognized her family from photographs shown to her, but conclusive DNA tests will be conducted before handing her over. If the family is not hers, she’ll be housed in a care home in her native India.