Pakistan's Edhi foundation turns down Narendra Modi's Rs 1 cr donation

Islamabad: Pakistan's charity foundation Edhi on Tuesday turned down Rs one crore donation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking care of deaf and mute Indian girl Geeta during her over a decade-long stay in the country.

Prominent philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who is the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation, thanked Prime Minister Modi for announcing the donation, but declined to accept it for his charity.

"Abdul Sattar Edhi has thanked Modi and politely declined to accept his announced financial help," Edhi Foundation spokesman Anwar Kazmi was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

Prime Minister Modi yesterday met Geeta, who returned to India to an emotional welcome, and hailed Karachi-based Edhi family for taking care of her with love and affection for so many years.

Complimenting Sattar Edhi's wife Bilqis Bano for taking care of Geeta with love and affection, the Prime Minister announced that India would give the Edhi Foundation Rs one crore as a token of appreciation, not just for taking care of Geeta, but also for the wonderful work that the Foundation has been doing.

"What the Edhi family has done is too priceless to be measured but I am happy to announce a contribution of Rs 1 crore to their foundation," Modi had said.

Geeta was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. She was adopted by the Edhi Foundation's Bilquees Edhi and lived with her in Karachi.

Bilquis and her grandchildren, Saba and Saad Edhi, are accompanying Geeta to India.

Geeta yesterday returned to New Delhi but failed to recognise a family which she had initially identified from photographs.

She refused to recognise the Mahato couple from Bihar which she had identified from photographs and added that she will be kept in an institution in Indore till her "real family" was found.

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