Uttarakhand man who left family 24 yrs ago returns home during Covid-19 lockdown
In what could be termed as a story straight from a Bollywood movie, a 43-year-old man reunited with his family after more than two decades of leaving home in Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar district.
Prakash Singh Karki, a resident of Ramadi village, had left home 24 years ago without informing his family. On May 18, he came back to his home from Gujarat unannounced in a hearty surprise, especially for his 68-year-old mother Bachuli Devi.
When Karki arrived in the village, residents including the village head Ganesh Kumar were unable to recognise him.
Kumar then questioned Karki about his identity and the man named his parents and two brothers. Surprised at learning that it was Karki who had come back, they immediately called his mother.
“We failed to recognise him initially but when he named his family members, we were shocked as the boy who had left home had returned as a man, all thanks to the lockdown. When his mother recognised him, it was confirmed that it was Karki who had returned,” Kumar said.
“Karki couldn’t meet his father because he is not alive any more. He, however, spoke to his two brothers, one elder and another younger to him. They also accepted him after getting assured that it is him only,” Kumar said.
Karki said he was happy about being reunited with his family.
“After passing high-school in 1995, I decided to leave home for work. However, I did that without informing my parents and siblings which must have hurt them for which I think there is no forgiveness for me,” Karki said.
Narrating his journey after leaving home, he said he first went to Delhi and did menial jobs in different companies for some time.
“From there, I went to Himachal Pradesh where I learnt gardening before going to Gujarat which was my last stop and where I was working as an electrician,” Karki said.
He said when the lockdown was imposed he decided to return to his family as he still remembered the address of his village.
“However, I was not sure whether or not I would be able to find my family there. I just got a pass and arrived here and with God’s grace, I found them and reunited with them after 24 years. I am very happy to see my mother,” he said.
Karki says now he won’t “leave his family.”
“All this while, I missed my parents and brothers a lot. Now when I have returned, I won’t leave again and stay here only,” said Karki.
Bachuli Devi was too happy to see her son again after over two decades.
“In 1995, he had left without saying anything to us. His father and I searched him a lot but to no avail after which I lost all hope to ever see him again. But I guess, God is great as I am now with my son as he himself came back,” she said.
“Now he will not go anywhere and stay here with me only,” said Devi.
Karki has now applied for work under MGNREGA in the village so that he doesn’t have to leave again.
“Karki’s MGNREGA job card will be made in the village itself and he won’t leave his family again. At present, he is under mandatory quarantine of 14 days in the primary school near the village where he did his schooling. He will soon be able to live with his family after it gets over,” village head Kumar said.