INDORE: The Indore district administration is going to verify the claim of a couple from Jharkhand that Geeta, the speech-impaired Indian girl who returned 14 years after accidentally landing in Pakistan, is their long-missing daughter.
After returning to India in October 2015, Geeta has been living at an institution for deaf children run by an NGO here. So far at least ten couples have claimed that she was their long-lost daughter, but none of the claims were proven to be true.
A senior official told PTI today that following a discussion with the Ministry for External Affairs, a meeting between Geeta and the couple from Jharkhand would be arranged on October 27 at the collector's office here.
If needed, DNA samples of Geeta and this couple would be collected for finding out if they are related, he said.
Vijay Ram and his wife Mala Devi of Bandu village in Garhwa district of Jharkhand have claimed that Geeta is their missing daughter, Tunni Kumari alias Guddi. Tunni disappeared nine years ago from her in-laws' house in Rohtas district of Bihar, they say.
Geeta was found by Pakistan Rangers on the Samjhauta Express at the Lahore railway station when she was around seven years old. Karachi-based Edhi Foundation looked after her while she was in Pakistan.
Interestingly, Gyanendra Purohit, a sign language expert who is helping the government in the search for Geeta's parents, said, "When Geeta was in Pakistan (and efforts to bring her back began) she frequently communicated with me through video calls. These communications suggested that she is possibly from Jharkhand or Telangana." "While in Pakistan, she once sent me a picture of piece of paper through WhatsApp. On that piece she had written the word 'Bando' in Hindi. She also wrote her name as 'Gaddi'," he said.
In a video message on October 1, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj made an emotional appeal seeking help in search for Geeta's parents. Swaraj also announced a reward of Rs one lakh for this purpose.