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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Lost in Kumbh, this speech-impaired woman is waiting to be found

Illiterate and speech-impaired, she has not been able to share any details about her family, except that she has three sons.

cities Updated: Mar 28, 2019 23:46 IST
Smriti Malaviya
Smriti Malaviya
Prayagraj
Thirty-eight-year-old Goongi Devi, who got separated from her family in the recently concluded Kumbh Mela, has been living at a protection home here for a month-and-a-half in the hope that she will be reunited with her kin soon.
Thirty-eight-year-old Goongi Devi, who got separated from her family in the recently concluded Kumbh Mela, has been living at a protection home here for a month-and-a-half in the hope that she will be reunited with her kin soon.
         

Thirty-eight-year-old Goongi Devi, who got separated from her family in the recently concluded Kumbh Mela, has been living at a protection home here for a month-and-a-half in the hope that she will be reunited with her kin soon.

Illiterate and speech-impaired, she has not been able to share any details about her family, except that she has three sons. Since she is unable to talk, she has been named ‘Goongi Devi’ by the Asha Jyoti Kendra volunteers, who are trying to get her Aadhaar card made to trace her relatives.

“With the help of a few gestures, Goongi Devi told us that she came to the Kumbh Mela along with her kin to take a holy dip when she got separated from them. She was brought to the Asha Jyoti Kendra around a month-and-a-half ago,” said Shishya Rathore, centre head of kendra.

Rathore further informed that they also took the woman to a school for hearing and speech impaired persons, but the instructors couldn’t get much detail about her native village or family members either. So far, no missing complaint by her kin has come to the fore.

“With the help of gestures, Goongi Devi told us that she is an Aadhaar card holder. With the help of some government officials, we created a new ID and address proof. Now, we are trying to get her enrolled under the system. We started this exercise 20 days ago. But we came to know that the biometric system has rejected her thumb impressions probably because she already has an Aadhaar card with the same thumb impression. The officials are now trying to match her thumb impression with her original Aadhaar card to get her address and family details. It’s a time-taking process, but we are hopeful of locating her address,” she adds.

Rathore further informed that officials are also working to ensure that the biometric machine didn’t reject her thumb impression due to poor quality or any other technical fault.

“We are working on every possibility because we want Goongi Devi to return to her family. We also keep showing her images on the internet to get a clue about her native place,” added Rathore.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 23:46 IST