A hearing and speech impaired woman stuck in Pakistan for nearly 15 years will be back in India on October 26 in a possible happy ending to a heart-warming saga with shades of a hit Bollywood film.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Friday that the woman, known only as Geeta, will be accompanied by five members of the Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani humanitarian organisation which has been looking after her since she was found at the Lahore railway station.
In a rare gesture, the Indian government also announced that the members of the Edhi Foundation will be treated as state guests.
Swarup said Geeta will undergo DNA testing to confirm that she is indeed the daughter of a family in Bihar, whom she identified as her parents and siblings from a photograph sent from India.
If the DNA test fails, she will be handed over to a care home either in Delhi or in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
She was reportedly just 7-8 years when she is believed to have strayed into Pakistani territory by mistake but could not explain where she was from.
The Indian government had pledged in August to bring her home after the hit Bollywood film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ returned the case to the spotlight.
The film featuring superstars Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor tells the mirror image of Geeta’s story-- a mute young Pakistani girl stranded in India.