12 years on, woman awaits reunion with son lost in Magh Mela
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12 years on, woman awaits reunion with son lost in Magh Mela

lucknow Updated: Jan 27, 2018 17:36 IST
K Sandeep Kumar
K Sandeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Allahabad

Leelawati with the poster of her missing son at her tea shop in Magh Mela area.(HT Photo)

In a real life incident resembling a reel life story, a woman is waiting for her son at the Sangam where she lost him during the annual Magh Mela in 2006.

Twelve years ago, Leelawati (46), a resident of Mumfordganj in Allahabad, had opened a tea shop in the tent city during Magh Mela.

On January 16, 2006, she went to take a dip in the Ganga but when she returned, she found her son Kishan (then 12) missing from the shop.

She searched for Kishan and got repeated announcements made across the tent city by mela officials but he could not be traced.

Since then, Leelawati returns to the fair every year and sets up her tea stall with her husband Vinod Gupta at the same spot near Triveni Road pontoon bridge in the hope of her son’s return.

As she prepares tea for customers, a poster with the picture of her son hangs over her head.

“I rue the fateful day when I left my son alone at the shop. I had never imagined that a brief visit to the Sangam to seek god’s blessings could deprive me of my son. But I have not given up hope. I still feel I will get my son back with the blessings of the holy Ganga at the same place where I lost him,” said Leelawati with tears in her eyes.

Every year, she puts up her tea shop at Netram crossing for 10 months and returns to Magh Mela area to sell tea to pilgrims and seers. All this while, she keeps searching for her son hoping that some customer would give her clue about her son.

Many customers see Kishan’s photograph at the stall and inquire about it. Leelawati tells them her tragic tale in the hope that the word of mouth would spread and lend support to her search.

“He was 12 when I lost him and today he must be 24. Had he been there with me, I would have been searching a bride for him. He had a birthmark on his chest and a cut over his left eyebrow,” she added.

Though earning just a few hundred rupees a day, she saves every extra rupee. “I had announced a cash reward of Rs 10,000 for anyone who helps me reunite with my son. Now I have met the police and raised the amount to Rs 50,000,” she said.

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 17:36 IST