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Friday, September 24, 2010

It is the love of the Mother

Exactly a month ago – 24th of August, I was in Guwahati on an assignment for the Government of India. Here in Vellore, we have been hosting a 14 year old boy (Sanidas) who was rescued by railway protection force who belongs to the state of "Assam" for the past seven months. He is from a place called "Lumding Junction" which is three hours east of Guwahati. We requested for police escort but it never came.

Since I was going so far to Guwahati I thought that I might as well take the child with me and drop him off with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) there for them to restore him back to his family. Unfortunately I couldn’t get train reservation so I abandoned that idea and planned an alternative.

I took the information (child’s photo, a letter from him and all the details to pin point his house etc) with me and thought to seek the help of the office that I am going to be at. When I presented the details, child’s family was tracked in two hours time.

I was told that the family is on their way to meet me but by the time they came I had to leave to catch the flight but I left all the details for them to get in touch with me and the children’s home so that they can come and take the child home. I also wrote a list of documents that they can possibly bring to identify her son. As soon as I reached, first thing I did was to communicate with Sanidas that his family is been located and they’ll be here to take him home soon. He was ecstatic.

Soon I got a call from the family requesting me to send him to Assam with an escort because they are very poor. I wasn’t very happy with that request so I admonished the family telling them that if only we could send him, we wouldn’t have kept him for seven months and we wouldn’t be able to send the boy to Assam in any other way. I also encouraged the family to stay in touch with Sanidas so often mother used to call him reassuring him that she’ll be in Vellore soon to take him home.

On the 20th of September she arrived at 1:30 PM by a train after travelling for 72 hours, looking tired but excited to see her only child after 7 months. We never saw each other before so it took a little bit of creativity and guess work to identify each other at the railway station before we were on our way to the children’s home. After we reached the home, I handed her over to the Superintendent who’ll do the verification before handing over the child to her. As I was leaving, I told her to call me if she needs anything and I left.

(Click on the image to read the Indian Express Article)

At about 6:00 PM I got a call and Sanidas was on the other end. He told me that they are at the railway station and he wanted to see me. I knew then that they are reunited and they are on their way home. I rushed to the station and as soon as Sanidas saw me, he came running and gave me a big hug and told me “Thank you for reuniting me with my Mom”. Mother was full of joy in spite of knowing that she has another long 72 hour journey ahead of her.

After 72 hours, I called to find out that they’ve reached home safely. I knew then that my work with Sanidas is complete.

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