92-year-old Indian Woman Visits Childhood Home in Pakistan 75 Years After Partition

Reena Chhibar, a 92-year-old Indian woman visited her ancestral home in Pakistan after 75 long years. The Pakistani High Commission issued a three-month visa to her as a goodwill gesture, according to a report by The Express Tribune. Reena’s childhood home “Prem Nivas" is situated in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi and on Saturday, she crossed the Wagah-Attari border to get there. She urged the governments of both countries to work together so that visa restrictions would be easier and people would be able to travel between Indian and Pakistan with more ease.

Reena Verma came to India in 1946, just months ahead of partition. She and her siblings were the first to come to Solan, and in 1947, after the partition, her parents joined them. Her siblings had friends from diverse communities and those who helped around at their house were also diverse, she recollected. She grew up in a multicultural atmosphere, surrounded by books and a very progressive father.

Reena has been attempting to visit her ancestral home for a long time. Twenty years after she came to India, in 1965, she had got a special India-Pakistan passport. She had not been able to go due to personal reasons. This year, she joined a Facebook group called India-Pakistan Heritage Club and posted about wanting to go to her childhood home on there.

One Sajaad Husaain from the group came to her aid. With her explanations, he was able to correctly identify her house as it is surrounded by several landmark buildings, as per a report by The Quint. However, her visa application was rejected in March 2022. In May 2022, things looked up again after The Independent Urdu did a video story on her, resulting in the Pakistan High Commission issuing her the three-month goodwill visa.