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  India   All India  20 Apr 2018  ‘Matchmaker’ Sushma Swaraj seeks groom for Pak-returned Geeta

‘Matchmaker’ Sushma Swaraj seeks groom for Pak-returned Geeta

THE ASIAN AGE WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Apr 20, 2018, 12:37 pm IST
Updated : Apr 20, 2018, 12:37 pm IST

Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired girl, was brought to India from Pakistan after she accidentally landed there when she was a child.

Attempts to reunite Geeta with her family proved futile as none of the families that had come to claim Geeta as their own could establish the claim. (Photo: File/AFP)
 Attempts to reunite Geeta with her family proved futile as none of the families that had come to claim Geeta as their own could establish the claim. (Photo: File/AFP)

New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who is known for helping distressed Indians across the world, is now playing a role of a matchmaker. The Union Minister is reportedly looking for a groom for Geeta, the hearing and speech impaired girl who was brought to India from Pakistan after accidentally landing in that country when she was a child.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, an official at Swaraj’s office, who is not authorised to talk to the media said, “Sushma Swaraj, after a meeting with Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in October 2017, had announced plans for Geeta’s marriage. On April 8, civil society members took a prospective speech- and hearing impaired groom with them to meet Sushma Swaraj and Geeta, at Swaraj’s residence in Delhi.”

However, “Geeta rejected the proposal. Swaraj ma’am then asked them to widen their search and bring more prospective grooms to choose from, assuring her total support for the cause,” the official added.

After Geeta was brought back to India, several attempts were made to reunite her with her family. However, the efforts proved futile as none of the families that had come to claim Geeta as their own could establish the claim.

Gyanendra Purohit, convener of an NGO Anand Service Society and a social activist, who is involved in the search for Geeta's long-lost parents, said “In a recent meeting with civil society members who helped Geeta to come back to India, Swaraj had invited applications through Facebook and also announced Geeta’s biodata in the Parichay Sammelan (introductory meeting) for speech- and hearing-impaired people.”

Purohit has put up a post on the Facebook page ‘Reunite Geeta, a deaf girl, with her family', which was originally created to search for Geeta's parents, on April 10. The advertisment said they were looking for a "good and smart deaf boy", age above 25 years, for "India's daughter Geeta". It also made it clear that it is Geeta who would decide on the proposals, and the Union government would take further steps.

So far they have received 25 biodatas of potential grooms, and they include an Army officer, an astrologer, novelist, engineers and farmers, among others.

“We have shortlisted 15 suitable matches by asking them in detail why they were interested in marrying Geeta. These matches are going to be screened by Swaraj’s PA (personal assistant) and then Geeta will see whether she likes the chosen guy or not and then Swaraj will have the final say,” said Purohit.

According to Purohit, the groom is being promised a house and a government job.

He also added that some of the prospective grooms were rejected when they said they wanted to marry Geeta in the hope of getting a government job.

Geeta’s tutor Monica Punjabi said, “The purpose of this process is to give her a family, to give a space to her to live her life in her own way and to make her feel happy. We are doing our best to get the best man for the marriage.”

Geeta was found alone aboard the Samjhauta Express at Lahore when she was seven or eight years old. It is surmised that she accidentally boarded the train somewhere in India. Karachi-based Edhi Foundation took care of her while she lived in Pakistan. She returned to India in 2015.

(With PTI inputs)

Tags: sushma swaraj, external affairs minister, pakistan returned geeta
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi