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Virtual reality reconnects casualties of Partition with ancestral homes

Digital project comes out of Oxford University initiative

Sayyed Abrar, one of the 75 participants in Project Dastaan, watches a 3D simulation of his childhood from his home in Fresno, U.S. He and his wife, Musarrat, migrated from Pakistan in 1947 and have not been able to visit since. (Courtesy of Project Dastaan)

NEW DELHI -- Seated on a sofa in her home in London, an elderly Pakistani woman is quietly absorbed in the digital world unfolding inside a cutting-edge virtual reality device placed over her eyes.

More than 70 years after the most dramatic episode of her life -- her flight from India to Pakistan on the eve of the Partition of British India in August 1947 -- Saida Siddiqui is watching a computer-generated simulation of her childhood in an interactive, 3D VR environment.

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