Sharbat Gula, who became the iconic face of Afghanistan's refugee struggle after her photograph appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1984, will soon be visiting Bengaluru for medical treatment.
A few weeks ago, Sharbat was deported from Pakistan to Afghanistan on charges of falsifying identity papers. Now in her 40s, Sharbat is reportedly suffering from hepatitis C along with some other health issues.
In a humanitarian gesture, Bengaluru's Narayana hospital offered her free-of-cost treatment, reports Scroll. The Afghan Ambassador Shaida Abdali expressed his gratitude in a tweet, where he wrote, "The Iconic Afghan Sharbat Gula will soon be in India for medical treatment free of cost - Thank you India for being a true friend!" He also posted this tweet:
Sharbat's image, with striking green eyes, photographed by award-winning photographer Steve McCurry had made her the face of the refugee crisis in Afghanistan. After fleeing Afghanistan as a young child, Sharbat had spent decades in Pakistan and is now a mother of three children, reports PTI.
Pakistan, in its recent drive against people with fake identity documents, arrested and deported Sharbat to Afghanistan. According to estimates, nearly three million Afghan refugees currently live in Pakistan, most of whom are either unregistered or possess fraudulent registration documents.