A 19-year-old woman, who got lost in Hyderabad in 2004, has managed to get in touch with her family after a span of 15 years, with the help of Facebook. The woman was seeking a job as a domestic help when her prospective employer managed to trace her family over social media.
In 2004, four-year-old K Bhavani and her brother were on their way to school when she went missing. She was picked up by Jaya, who would become her adoptive mother. Jaya raised Bhavani and got her educated till intermediate, reported Deccan Chronicle.
Fifteen years later, Bhavani was seeking employment as a domestic help at the residence of her prospective employer, Vamseedhar Batchu, in Vijayawada. There, she was asked to produce her aadhaar and other documents needed to be submitted as identification proof with the nearest police station. However, when Bhavani was unable to produce those documents, she explained that she is an orphan raised by her adoptive mother.
According to the New Indian Express, at first, the prospective employer suspected that Bhavani was making up the story to get the job. Vamseedhar decided to check the veracity of her claim on social media.
Though separated from her family for over a decade, Bhavani was able to recollect her brother’s name, Santosh, their family surname and the name of her village in Chipuripalle, where she had lived. Vamseedhar then searched the details of Bhavani’s family members on Facebook.
He keyed in her brother’s name, Kodipetla Santosh, on Facebook and came across around 20 profiles with similar names.
He started messaging everyone, enquiring if anyone in their family had gone missing some 15 years ago. To his surprise, in 30 minutes, he received a message from one of the profiles named Santosh, claiming that his sister had indeed gone missing when he was seven years old.
The ‘Santosh’ who replied to his message, turned out to be Bhavani’s elder brother, Vamseedhar told TNIE.
When Vamseedhar informed Bhavani about finding her brothers on Facebook, she was overwhelmed with joy and immediately spoke to her family — Santosh, Gopi, her mother Varalakshmi and father Madhava Rao — through a video call.
The family is expected to reach Vijayawada to take her back home soon.
'We searched for her every day': Family
Bhavani’s family used to live near Borabanda in Hyderabad, where her father worked as a watchman. According to her biological mother Varalakshmi, Bhavani and her brother Gopi used to go to school and return on their own every day.
“One day, my younger son came back home without her in the afternoon. We looked for her every day since then. We went to the police and spent a lot of money in trying to search for her. We would hear that she was at Charminar, at Gokul theatre, at some orphanage, and rush there immediately. But we never found her,” she said.
Jaya found four-year-old Bhavani near their house in Erragadda. “It was raining that day. We took her in and looked for her family everywhere. The next day we went to the police and gave them our address so that if her family approaches them, they could find her. She insisted on coming back with us. All these days, none came looking for her,” said Bhavani’s adoptive mother.
Although Bhavani is eager to go back, Jaya said, “We don’t approve of her going back, but she says she wants to go and will return if she doesn’t like it there. We won’t stop her or force her to do anything. She can come and go as she pleases.”