Everything she has today, she owes to Pakistanis. Her name included. Who she is or where the hearing and speech challenged 21-year-old came from is not very clear. But, because she bent down to touch the feet of social worker Bilquis Edhi and did a namaste, she was christened Geeta and the name has stuck for the 11 years that she has been here.
Today, an effort is on through social networking sites to see if anyone recognises the young woman after The News reported about her as part of the newspaper’s Aman Ki Asha project for better ties with India. Presently living in a shelter home of the Bilquis Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Geeta’s saga dates back to 2001 when she was found on the Pakistani side of the border in Lahore.
Without the ability of speech, Geeta was unable to throw any light on where she had come from but from what Ms. Edhi has been able to piece together, she strayed into Pakistan after walking out of her house in a huff. Apparently, one of her parents had scolded her and she had walked out aimlessly; losing her way. En route, she apparently crossed a body of water on a boat and then got onto a train.
Besides her humility — which, according to Ms. Edhi is not something that she finds aplenty among Pakistani children — Geeta’s ability to write in Hindi added credence to the premise that she was Indian.
And, she remembers being called ‘Guddi’ at home in a place with a name that sounds like ‘Basjam’.
Though Geeta apparently asked for an idol of any Hindu god to worship and got three posters — now framed in her prayer corner — her days in the shelter home has taught her how to fast during Ramadan.
Keywords: hearing and speech challenged