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Updated: March 30, 2014 19:52 IST

Italian traveller shows the way

Special Correspondent
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Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo, who was kidnapped by Maoists in Kandhamal forest of Odisha two years ago, in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Photo: By Arrangement.
The Hindu Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo, who was kidnapped by Maoists in Kandhamal forest of Odisha two years ago, in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Photo: By Arrangement.

His resolve to help a poor tribal youngster motivated a team of Rotarians, doctors and others into action to bring him from a non-descript village of Kandhamal district of Odisha for a complicated surgery.

Immobile for a long time due to TB in spine, Salman Pradhan (21), a Kui Kondh, underwent a complicated surgery and a long physiotherapy exercise here for a year. Now he has to be brought again for another surgery, which may make him near normal.

Italian traveller Claudio Colangelo (63) came in contact with Salman in his village, a day before he was kidnapped by Maoists in April 2012.

“I didn’t know the location of his hamlet. On the basis of GPS and photos taken by me, local NGO activist Kailash Dandapat and some Bhubaneswar-based journalists could trace his identity. Through another journalist in Visakhapatnam I came in contact with former Rotary district governor Ch. Kishore Kumar and got Salman and his parents to Vizag for treatment,” Mr. Colangelo said on Sunday.

He was replying to felicitations accorded to him by Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) during his ‘thanks giving’ trip to India, two years after his release by Maoists. He profusely thanked Mr. Kishore Kumar and the team of doctors who performed first round of surgery and others for their effort to give a fresh lease of life to Salman.

Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G.S.N. Raju, Rotary Club members Vidyasagar and Vijay, VCCI honorary secretary M.V. Narayana Rao and others presented a citation and memento to Mr. Colangelo. Mr. Colangelo declared that his dream was to sponsor a livelihood project for small group of tribals in India.

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