Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wants Geeta, who returned to the country in 2015 after straying into Pakistan over a decade earlier, married.
The woman with a hearing and speech impairment stayed in Pakistan for nearly 15 years. Geeta was sent to a Lahore public shelter after being discovered by police. The woman kept on switching shelters before Edhi Foundation came into the picture.
Swaraj many attempts to reunite Geeta with her kin are yet to taste success. The woman has not recognised any of the individuals who have claimed her as their own.
India announces reward for helping Geeta unite with her parents
“Sushma Swaraj, after a meeting with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in October 2017 announced plans for Geeta’s marriage. On April 8, civil society members took a prospective speech-hearing impaired groom to meet Swaraj and Geeta at the former's residence in Delhi,” an MEA official said. “Geeta rejected the proposal. Swaraj then asked them to widen their search and bring more prospective grooms to choose from, assuring her total support for the cause.”
“In a recent meeting with civil society members who helped Geeta return to India, Swaraj invited applications through Facebook and also announced Geeta’s biodata in the Parichay Sammelan (introductory meeting) for speech-hearing impaired people,” Anand Service Society convener Gyanendra Purohit said. The NGO, spearheading match-making efforts, has received profiles of 25 suitors. These include an army man, a writer and an astrologer among others.
Sushma posts Geeta's diary as search for her family still continues
“We have shortlisted 15 matches. They are going to be screened by Swaraj’s PA and then Geeta will see whether she likes the chosen guy or not. Swaraj will have the final say,” Purohit said. Geeta's would-be husband has been promised house and public-sector position. “Some prospective grooms were rejected when they said they wanted to marry Geeta in the hope of obtaining government job,” he added.
This article originally appeared in Hindustan Times.