23-year-old Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired girl from India who has been living in Pakistan for the past 12 years, will soon return to India.
External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that the government has identified her family in India and she will only be handed over to them after a DNA test.
Geeta will be back in India soon. We have located her family. She will be handed over to them only after the DNA test.#Geetaâ€” Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) October 15, 2015
Though the identity of Geeta's family has not yet been revealed, reports in Pakistani media claim that she has identified her father as one Janardhan Mahto, reported The Times of India.
Mahto is said to have five sons and two daughters, and he reportedly said that he had lost Geeta in 2004 in a fair.â€œ
"If the DNA tests verify that they are indeed her parents then she will be handed over to them. If not, we have identified two institutions -one in Delhi and one in Indore -which are meant for people with certain disabilities. We believe that Geeta will find very good and welcoming home there... The procedure to bring her back is almost complete," TOI quotes MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup as saying.
Geeta's story is often compared to the plot of Salman Khan's blockbuster "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", with some even believing that Khan's movie was inspired from the former's life.
Over a decade ago, Geeta is said to have unwittingly strayed into Pakistan on the "Samjhauta Express" and has been stranded there ever since.
Activists in Pakistan have been trying to trace Geeta's family in India for quite some time now. Ansar Burney, Pakistan's former federal minister for human rights, is one of the most prominent faces in the campaign which has been working towards reuniting Geeta with her family in India.
Burney, touted as Pakistan's "Bajranji Bhaijaan", had even come to India a few years ago looking for Geeta's family.
Their work finally caught the attention of Indian authorities earlier this year, and the government had since been working to find Geeta's family and bring her back to India.