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Geeta, hearing and speech impaired woman brought home from Pakistan, to appear for Class 8 exam

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Geeta

Geeta (File image)

Indore: Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired woman who returned to India from Pakistan in 2015, is all set to appear for her Class 8 examination to be conducted by the Madhya Pradesh State Open School Education Board, an official said.

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The application of 33-year-old Geeta has been approved, allowing her to appear for the examination starting next week, the official of the board said on Thursday.

"While approving Geeta's application, we have allowed her to appear for Class 8 examination and she will get her admit card soon," Director of the State Open School Education Board Prabhat Raj Tiwari told PTI.

The Class 8 examination conducted by the State Open School Education Board will begin on May 21 and conclude on May 28, officials said.

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Anand Service Society, an Indore-based NGO, has been helping Geeta to appear for the Class 8 exams, its secretary Gyanendra Purohit said.

Geeta's real name is Radha and she currently lives in Maharashtra's Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district with her mother Meena Pandhare, he said.

After returning to India from Pakistan, Geeta stayed in Indore for nearly five years. She cleared Class 5 exam in 2020, but she could not go ahead with further studies due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and other reasons, Purohit said.

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Citing his video call interaction with Geeta using gestures, he said that she wants to become financially independent by studying.

"If Geeta clears Class 8 exam, she can become eligible for government recruitment for Class IV employees under the quota for persons with disability," he said.

Geeta is preparing for her Class 8th exam with the help of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar-based NGO Progressive Life Centre, Purohit said.

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Purohit's wife and sign language expert Monica Purohit is also preparing Geeta for the exam through online classes.

"Geeta is diligently preparing for her Class 8 exams. Though she is facing some difficulties in Hindi and Sanskrit, I am sure she will overcome these difficulties through her perseverance." Monica Purohit said.

According to officials, Geeta's age is estimated to be 33 years. She had crossed over to Pakistan nearly 23 years ago after accidentally boarding a train as a child. She was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express at the Lahore railway station by Pakistan Rangers.

The deaf and mute girl was adopted by Bilquis Edhi of Pakistan's social organisation named Edhi Foundation and kept with her in Karachi.

It was due to the special efforts of the then external affairs minister late Sushma Swaraj that Geeta could return to India on October 26, 2015. The next day, she was sent to the residential complex of an NGO in Indore. Geeta has been living in Maharashtra after relocating to her family in the state in 2021. 

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