Vandana Menon, a 47-year-old media professional was in Hyderabad on a work trip when she spotted a familiar looking boy standing alone at the Nampally metro station on Wednesday, January 24 at 6.30 am. She soon recognised the boy as Parinav, a 12-year-old who had gone missing from Bengaluru’s Whitefied since Sunday, January 21. Vandana immediately spoke to the boy to confirm his identity and alerted the authorities at Nampally metro station as well as his parents and volunteer groups looking for Parinav in Bengaluru.
Recalling the incident, Vandana told TNM that she was able to immediately identify Parinav due to messages from citizen activists and resident welfare association groups, who were constantly updating about the boy along with his pictures. “I stay in Whitefield in Bengaluru where the boy is also from, and the messages about him going missing had flooded in all of my groups. Social media and citizen groups made a very big difference, his poster was spread everywhere, the entire city probably has received his photo,” she said.
She added that it also helped since he was wearing the same clothes from the day he went missing and photos of him wearing them had done several rounds on Whatsapp groups and social media since then. Parinav was at the Nampally metro station and was headed towards LB Nagar in Hyderabad.
Details of how Parinav managed to reach nearly 600 kilometres away from his home to Hyderabad, without having any money are still unclear. When TNM spoke to his parents, they informed us that Parinav was healthy and unharmed and they were on their way to Hyderabad.
Parinav had gone missing on Sunday, January 21 after finishing his classes at a competitive exam coaching centre. Instead of waiting for his parents who would normally pick him up, Parinav left the institute by himself and boarded a BMTC bus but got down after he did not have enough money for his destination. Police could trace his activity through CCTV cameras only till January 21 evening in Majestic. His parents, citizens and civic groups in Bengaluru and the police had been looking for him fervently.