Narayana Hospital, Bengaluru provides free of cost treatment to Sharbat Gula
Sharbat Gula, an Afghan woman, who deported from Pakistan a few days ago and is considered the iconic face of refugee struggle, is all set to undergo treatment for Hepatitis C in Bengaluru very soon. “Touched by the Narayana hospital in Bengaluru offering Gula free treatment and hospitality,” Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali tweeted.
According to Gula’s lawyer, she is suffering from Hepatitis C and other major health issues. Sharbat Gula became an international face after her photograph appeared in the Nation Geographic Magazine in 1984.
On Wednesday she was exiled from Pakistan to Afghanistan. “Gula will soon be traveling to India for her free medical treatment. Thank you India for being a faithful friend,” Abdali added.
Gula’s life struggle
After escaping from Afghanistan as a young child, Gula spent decades in Pakistan and was arrested on charges of having fake identity documents. Pakistan was severely criticised for expelling Gula.
As per reports, she was found guilty to all charges imposed against her and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and a fine of Rs 1,10,000 by a special an anti-corruption and immigration court of Pakistan. Following the judgement, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government offered to stop her deportation from the country but Sharbat Gula refused to stay in Pakistan. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani last week offered her a fully furnished apartment after she was exiled by Pakistan.
Nat Geo connection
The portrait of Sharbat Gula, whose sea-green eyes and piercing gaze made her an international figure of refugees facing an uncertain future, first appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1985.
The Nat Geo photographer Steve McCurry photographed her as a young girl living in the biggest refugee camp in Pakistan, where around three million Afghans sought shelter in the wake of the 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union.
Later in 2002, McCurry tracked Sharbat Gula who is by now married and is a mother of five, was photographed once again. That photo has been likened with Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. National Geographic also made a short documentary on her life and called her the “Mona Lisa of Afghan war”.