Remember the iconic green-eyed girl, Sharbat Gula, who became the face of war-torn Afghanistan in a National Geographic magazine in 1984? The 'Afghan girl' will now travel to the southern Indian city of Bengaluru to receive medical treatment for Hepatitis C and other health complications.
Gula, now 44, was recently deported from Pakistan, where she was arrested from her house in Peshawar on charges of carrying a forged Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card. Following her deportation, Sharbat and her three sons were received in Afghanistan by President Ashraf Ghani.
Dr Shaida Abdali, the Ambassador of Afghanistan to India, took to Twitter to announce that Gula would arrive in India for free medical treatment. "The Iconic Afghan Sharbat Gula will soon be in India for medical treatment free of cost —Thank you India for being a true friend! @MEAIndia," he tweeted.
The Afghan government said it was touched by a Bengaluru-based hospital's offer to treat Gula. "Sharbat Gula is an icon of our hopes and hardships and she recently went through some very difficult days in her life (referring to the deportation by Pakistan)," Abdali was quoted as saying by the Hindu.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Gula soon after she arrived in Kabul. He handed over an apartment key, a move made to welcome the refugee, who won global recognition for her green-eyes and piercing gaze in 1984, Afghan news agency Khama Press reported.
In 1984, Gula was snapped by award-winning photographer Steve McCurry. During that time, she was living in Pakistan's largest refugee camp.
The Iconic Afghan Sharbat Gula will soon be in India for medical treatment free of cost - Thank you India for being a true friend! @MEAIndia
— Dr Shaida Abdali (@ShaidaAbdali) November 12, 2016