A month after nine-year-old Kurla resident Vijay Rajbhar went missing; the police or his kin had no idea where he could be. However, to their astonishment, Childline officials found the child at Jodhpur railway station on May 8.
“Jodhpur Childline officials were on their regular rounds at the railway station, when they found him. He was in very bad shape so they took him to their children’s shelter and spoke to him. That’s when he (Vijay) told them he was from Mumbai,” said Jojo Varghese, Childline city coordinator (Mumbai).
Childline officials from the city said Vijay was shaken up when their Jodhpur volunteers met him. “He hadn’t eaten and was shivering. He said he was scared and kept asking them to take him home,” said an Childline official on the condition of anonymity.
According to Childline officials, Vijay told volunteers in Jodhpur that he lived in ‘Kurla, Mumbai’.
“It helped us narrow down our search for his family. But, we got their contact details only after we saw a missing person’s poster with Vijay’s photo on it at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus,” Varghese said.
Vijay had allegedly run away from home on April 13.
“We looked everywhere but couldn’t find him. We then filed a missing person complaint at Tilak Nagar police station,” said Ramvilas Rajbhar, Vijay’s father.
Rajbhar said even after two weeks of searching when Vijay was nowhere to be found, he had started losing hope.
“We thought we would never see him again. There were times when we assumed he had been kidnapped or even killed,” Rajbhar said.
He said despite feeling negatively they continued their search for Vijay. “I am glad we didn’t give up. When Childline officials called we were ecstatic,” he said.
On Saturday, Rajbhar left for Jodhpur to bring Vijay home.