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A video of an Indian woman in her 90s, Reena Varma has made netizens emotional as she returned to her ancestral home in Rawalpindi (Pakistan), after 75 years of leaving the country during the Partition.
Image Source: Shiraz Hassan/Twitter
The video was posted on social media by Pakistani journalist Shabbir Dar. In the video, Varma was seen walking on "Premgali" and Rawalpindi College Road, the streets related to her childhood memory. She was accompanied by the nearby residents and bystanders, who were happy about the reunion and witnessed the overwhelming return.
Sonali Khullar, daughter of Reena Varma, told the media that during the partition, her mother moved to Solan (Himachal Pradesh), and her maternal grandmother had hoped that they would return, but it didn't happen. After losing the last sibling out of five, Varma started thinking back to her childhood days, family, home and other small details about her past in Pakistan.
She posted about wanting to go back to her hometown during the pandemic on the public Facebook page Punjab Heritage, which tries to bring together Punjabis on both sides of the border. The page is owned by two Pakistanis, Imran William and Zihar.
She began to connect with several people, who requested visits from her. Journalist Sajjad Haider, who works in Rawalpindi, took note of her story, searched for her ancestral home and emailed her pictures.
According to news reports, Varma had been attempting to get a visa since 1965 to go back to her home in Rawalpindi, where she had spent her first 15 years of life before being forced to leave because of the Partition in 1945.
This year too, Varma's family applied for a visa around March but was again disapproved by the Pakistani embassy. Later, another Pakistani journalist, Beenish Siddiqa, advised her to create a video appealing for her visa, which she did, and was granted the visa after a Pakistani minister Hina Rabbani took notice of the video.
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