‘Papa’ was the first word three-year-old Jhanvi said when she was reunited with her family after eight days of frantic search.
Kidnapped from India Gate on September 28, Jhanvi was found wandering in west Delhi’s Janakpuri late Sunday evening.
Jhanvi had a placard around her neck with her name and contact number of her uncle when she was found.
“She was taken to the Mayapuri police station where special CP (law and order) Deepak Mishra greeted her with ‘chocolates’ from a local store,” said a police
Her father, a part-time photographer, welcomed his daughter with open arms and ‘Frooti’, a mango drink.
At home, it was an early Diwali for the family and the neighbourhood as they celebrated her homecoming with drums and dance.
“No one in the family had slept since last night, it is no less than a Diwali celebration for us,” said Sheetal Ahuja, Jhanvi’s mother.
“Though she could not get much sleep on Sunday night, she is doing well. She has become the star of our neighbourhood with people coming regularly,” she said.
Recently admitted to a play school, Jhanvi was always pampered. A frequent visitor to neighbours’ houses, she would almost instantly make friends, residents said.
“She would come to our house and spend hours here. The entire area was in a state of shock,” said Vineeta Singh, a resident.The family recollected the horrendous experience of losing her and her sudden rescue.“We had teams of family members searching her constantly throughout the day and at night. We had received thousands of calls throughout the city,” said Rakesh Ahuja, Jhanvi’s father.The family even consulted an astrologer to know her whereabouts. “The astrologer had claimed Jhanvi was with a couple and also predicted her location, very close to the place where she was later found,” said Sumit Ahuja, uncle.