Dumka, May 23 (PTI) He was separated from his family at the tender age of five, and spent the next 13 years at a children's home some 1,700 km away from his village here.
Deepak Dehri, now 18, recently discovered that fate can also be kind, after images of Massanjore Dam and its scenic surroundings during a video call made him instantly locate his long-lost place of residence, and reunite with his loved ones.
A member of the Paharia primitive tribe of the state, Dehri lost his father when he was just five and his mother subsequently abandoned him, Officer-in-Charge of Massanjore police station Chandrashekhar Choubey told PTI.
He was brought to Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh by an aunt, but the child soon escaped, desperate to get back to his village. However, in his zeal to return, he boarded the wrong train, which took him to Rajasthan's Bikaner, Choubey said.
Dehri spent the next 13 years of his life at a 'Baal Grih' (children's home) run by the Social Welfare Department in Bikaner, where he would often turn emotional, reminiscing his childhood days and providing vivid descriptions of his village.
Intrigued by his accounts over the years, the superintendent of the remand home, Aravind Acharay, contacted the Massanjore police, said Choubey, who then made video calls to Dehri and showed him places similar to those he had narrated about.
It took Dehri no time to identify the area in the vicinity of Massanjore Dam where he lived. He also recounted that his father was a fisherman and recognised nearby locations where his relatives resided, the officer said.
During further video calls, his maternal uncle also identified the young man.
Dehri was finally handed over to his family members in Dumka by two constables from Bikaner in the presence of Choubey and other police officers on Friday evening.
'My joy knows no bounds. I am ready to do anything to earn a livelihood here among my own people,' an elated Dehri, who could barely speak his native language 'Maundo', told PTI in Hindi.
Several members of his family made special offerings to Gods and celebrated his return, remaining witness to a fact that is often fictionalised in cinema and literary works. PTI CORR NAM RBT RMS RMS