It was an emotional reunion for a woman and her lost child here on Friday. A 14-year-old girl, “Reshma”, was reunited with her mother, Shanthamma, after more than four years.
Reshma was nine years old when she was found at the railway station and transferred to Bapuji Children's Home at Gokulam. She could not recall her address and partially remembered her mother's name. The authorities transferred her to Bala Mandira for Girls, where rescued girls or missing children are usually admitted.
The efforts of the Bala Mandira officials to trace the address of the girl remained futile all these years as the girl did not reveal anything or display emotions or pangs of separation from her parents, according to Child Welfare Committee member Parashuram.
“We were under the impression that the girl — who told us her name was Reshma — was an orphan and admitted her to school,” said Geetha Laksmi, superintendent of Bala Mandira.
“Our counsellors frequently interact with the children and engage them in lengthy conversations in a bid to elicit information about their past. But in Reshma's case, we drew a blank because she was tight-lipped,” recalled Ms. Lakshmi. Though she was admitted to Bala Mandira in 2007, the girl never betrayed any emotions or show a desire to meet her parents. However, we could infer from her statements that she had run away from her house with her cousin, Anita, and come to Mysore in 2007. Anita and Reshma were separated by a quirk of fate and Reshma took a bus and reached Bangalore, where she was employed as domestic help. Within a few days, she returned to Mysore and was found around the Mysore Railway Station. She was rescued and shifted to Bapuji's Children Home, from where Reshma was transferred to Bala Mandira, according to Ms. Lakshmi.
However, about 15 days ago, Reshma confided in a few other girls at the Bala Mandira that she was from Pandavpura. She gave the name of her mother as Shanthamma. The girls passed on the information to the officials.
At this, Ms. Lakshmi and the other staff made efforts to trace the girl's family members at Pandavpura in Mandya district. They learnt there was a woman there, whose child had gone missing four years ago. Shanthamma, who is a pourakarmika employee in the local town municipality, admitted to have lost her child, Sukanya.
“I asked her to visit Bala Mandira in Mysore and ascertain the identity of a child,” said Ms. Lakshmi. “Reshma, who was oblivious of the developments, was told by Ms. Lakshmi to await a “pleasant surprise”. The unsuspecting girl returned to Bala Mandira after school and on seeing her mother, screamed in joy and embraced her in an emotional reunion.
Keywords: human interest