After being stuck without any leads for years, her case came under the spotlight a few months ago, after the release of the Bollywood movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan across India and Pakistan in July. Mirroring Geeta's life, the movie narrated the story of a mute Pakistani girl who wanders across the border to India and is reunited with her relatives with the help of an Indian played by superstar Salman Khan. Geeta herself is a fan of the movie, and has watched it more than once. Following widespread coverage of her story, the Indian government promised to bring Geeta home as soon as possible.
Almost 15 years ago, a young speech and hearing impaired Indian girl named Geeta accidentally strayed into the Pakistani city of Lahore after wandering across the heavily-militarized India-Pakistan border. Now 23, she has returned to India — and possibly her family — in a unique homecoming today.
Geeta, who was only seven or eight years old when got lost, had been discovered by Pakistani security forces near the border. In the absence of any identification documents, she was handed over to a shelter in Karachi run by the charitable Edhi Foundation, where she has been living since then. Unable to communicate her address or identify her family, she had been christened Geeta by the charity’s owners.
After seeing her story on TV, a family from the eastern state of Bihar claimed that Geeta was their daughter and had been lost in a fair in the city of Ludhiana in Punjab, a state which borders Pakistan. In turn, Geeta had identified her long-lost relatives through photographs sent across the border. Still several questions remain — the family in question have said that their lost daughter was married when she disappeared, but Geeta has stated that she has never been married. Since the announcement, several other families have also claimed Geeta as their daughter. Indian authorities will conduct a DNA test before handing over Geeta with her family, but if the results do not match she will be placed in a “suitable institution".
For now, Geeta is back in India. On her wishlist is a chance to meet Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor Salman Khan even before she gets to see her parents, and a desire to see the movie dubbed in sign language.