A father’s determination to find his missing son will provide hope to thousands of parents whose children go missing every day from Delhi-NCR.
Of the 22,000 children who went missing from Delhi in the past three years, 9,000 have not been found. The number of such kids in Haryana is 3,700.
Ram Singh’s son was kidnapped in April from Sohna, Gurgaon. He was found 800km away at Chattarpur in Madhya Pradesh.
Singh visited temples, railway stations, bus stops, pasted posters and posted information about his son on Facebook.
He even offered money in return for a clue about his 11-year-old and got cheated a couple of times. Efforts by the police also failed.
Luck finally smiled on Singh on July 7 when a person called him up to say he had seen Singh’s son at a care home in Madhya Pradesh. To make sure that call was not a hoax, Singh asked the caller to make him talk to his son.
“The moment I head hello, I was sure that it was him,” said Singh, a factory worker.
“I rushed to Chattarpur. I don’t know what they did to my son because he didn’t look healthy. After completing the formalities I took him to my home town in Banda, UP, to meet my parents who were also worried. Now, I am back home in NCR and will join work after a gap of three months. I will never let my son go out now,” said Singh.
Singh took a loan and stopped going to his job to search for his son. He said his son has a sketchy memory about who kidnapped him and the places he was kept.
“He told me two men in a jeep took him away when he was playing outside home,” Singh said.
“He doesn’t remember much. He mentioned a large room where he was kept with about a 100 children. He told me about staying at the Mathura railway station for a while,” he said.
In a detailed story on missing children in the city, the Hindustan Times had profiled Ram Singh’s case along with three others in May.
An analysis by age of the missing children shows it is comparatively difficult to trace those below 12 years. Activists also concur that children in this age group have a relatively higher chance of being kidnapped or trafficked.