This year, Andhra Pradesh saw many families reunited after the painful separation of young children from their parents. Three such reunions were televised for the entire world to watch and witness the joy of these families. In each of these cases, social media and news media played a major role in bringing the lost children back to their families. Hereâ€™s a look at three heartening homecomings from Andhra Pradesh in the year 2019.
The kidnap and return of 4-year-old Jashith
On July 25, 4-year-old Jashith returned home to his parents in East Godavari after being held captive by his kidnappers for nearly 60 hours. Soon after his return, the child was seen animatedly speaking to reporters from Telugu news channels, distractedly trying to bite their mics and endearing himself to the media crew and audiences who had been anxiously watching the case unfold for more than two days.
News about the missing child was widely covered by the media, and had also gone viral on social media. East Godavari Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi, who had formed 17 teams to look for Jashith, commended the media for their continued coverage of the case, adding that social media had also helped to a large extent. The child was dropped off by the kidnappers at a brick kiln in the middle of the night. The workers at the kiln identified him right away, as the news had gone viral on WhatsApp. They immediately informed authorities, looking after him until they arrived. Police said that the public alarm and media coverage possibly made the kidnappers realise that they could not continue to keep the boy with them for long, as they might be caught.
Bhavani reunited with her biological family through Facebook
Bhavani was four, the same age as Jashith, when she went missing from her home in Hyderabad in 2004. However, it took her 15 years to find her biological family. Bhavani, who went missing on her way to school, was picked up by Jaya, who went on to become her adoptive mother. While both her biological and adoptive families had approached the police in their respective localities in Hyderabad, they never found each other. However, years later, when Bhavani was seeking a job as a domestic help in Vijayawada, her vague recollection of her brothersâ€™ names were enough for a prospective employer to look them up on Facebook. A few text messages later, it turned out that the long shot had actually worked. Very soon, Bhavani was able to video call her biological family. The reunion was televised live on several Telugu news channels.
When a woman trafficked to TN as a child returned after more than a decade
Just like Bhavani, Latha was also raised by an adoptive mother. But in her case, her new family found her by no accident. Latha, who was born as Aadilakshmi, went missing from her home in Vijayawada in 2007 when she was 13 years old. As her family frantically searched for her in the city, she was trafficked to Tamil Nadu by a woman who found her at the Vijayawada bus stand. Latha was sold for Rs 500 to her adoptive mother. After the recent death of her adoptive mother, Latha came back to Vijayawada accompanied by her husband, looking for her biological parents. After approaching the police at the weekly public grievance redressal forum, the wide media coverage that followed helped the family reunite.