Other States

Ham radio operators help reunite family

Help at last: Janaki Raman with doctors and a nurse of the Bangaon Subdivisional Hospital in West Bengal.

Help at last: Janaki Raman with doctors and a nurse of the Bangaon Subdivisional Hospital in West Bengal.  

Tamil Nadu man who went missing 11 years ago landed in West Bengal hospital

On August 16, a few policemen arrived at the house of Vadamalai Raman in village Purandarai located in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu with photographs of a patient who has been staying at the Bangaon Subdivisional Hospital in West Bengal for over two years.

Vadamalai’s mother, Misiyammal, identified the person in the photographs without much difficulty. He was Janaki Raman, her son who went missing about 11 years ago.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from her village Suguna, Janaki Raman’s sister-in-law could not hide the excitement the family felt at the prospect of finally reuniting with a close relative after more than a decade.

She said her husband Vadamalai will leave for West Bengal on Tuesday to bring Janaki Raman back to his native village.

Janaki Raman had remained in West Bengal for over a decade, mostly as a vagabond and then as an inpatient at the Bongaon Subdivisional Hospital. He spoke only Tamil and authorities at the state-run hospital had no idea about his antecedents. It was only after the hospital authorities involved ham radio operators (amateur radio operators) the breakthrough was made.

“First, he would not speak. But we were certain that he was from south India. It took months to record his voice. Only then did we try to know what language he spoke and then contacted other ham radio operators in south India,” Ambarish Nag Biswas, secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club said.

Bengaluru-based Manjunath. R, a member of the Indian Institute of Ham, found out that Janaki Raman was speaking in Tamil. He spoke to him over telephone, pretending to be a family member and learnt about his village and post office. Sankar Prasad Mahato, the medical superintendent of the hospital, said the patient’s condition was much better now and he was eager to return to his village.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 3:05:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ham-radio-operators-help-reunite-family/article29163648.ece

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