KERALA

A touching reunion of loved ones

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM NOV. 7. It was a touching reunion for 20-year-old Rajesh and 12-year-old Manju with their loved ones on Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of the city-based Don Bosco Centre's 24-hour Childline service.

Rajesh was reunited with his parents, Sikhamani and Leela, after 10 years. The youth bid goodbye to the inmates of the home and left happily with his parents, who revealed that his real name was Shaji.

The youth, who is mentally challenged, had been reported missing from his house in Parassala in January, 1992. The Vicar of Valiyaveli, T. T. Joseph, who saw him wandering about there, took him to the Don Bosco Centre on October 3.

Rajesh was provided shelter and underwent counselling at the centre. It was learnt that he had been wandering at Poovar and neighbouring areas for about three years. However, the centre's attempts to trace the whereabouts of his parents were in vain.

Rajesh's parents, who were alerted by reports, accompanied by his photograph that appeared in the local media, reached the Don Bosco Centre in search of their missing son.

With the youth showing affinity towards his parents, especially his mother, the centre authorities decided to reunite him with them. The parents produced a certificate from a school at Kurukutti, near Parassala, where he was admitted to the first standard in 1987. They had filed a man-missing complaint in 1992. Twelve-year-old Manju, an orphan hailing from Tamil Nadu, was also sent home with her sister and aunt on Wednesday by the Centre authorities.

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