Round Tablers philanthropy reunites tribal girl with parents after four years
The tribal girl from Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district had migrated to Delhi when she was 11 with her brother to earn but got lost, she worked here and there for nearly four years till two Round Table members stepped in and reunited her parents.ranchi Updated: Sep 13, 2017 17:48 IST
Man proposes God disposes, they say. The catchphrase stands apt in the case of 15-year-old Chami (name changed), a tribal girl from nondescript Talsada village located in the interiors of the famous Saranda forests in West Singhbhum district.
Born in an acutely impoverished family who could hardly manage two square meals a day, Chami grew up watching the teenage boys and girls in her village, including her own family, migrating to other states to eke out a livelihood as there was hardly any source of income available in the forest village where farming too is a tough task due to stringent forest laws.
With survival itself being a challenge, education was a farfetched dream as children either migrated or spent time fetching firewood and other forest products with older members of the family, who could not migrate, to supplement the family income. By the time, Chami was 10 her older siblings began preparing her for the imminent migration, tutoring her on the dos and don’ts to be followed in the alien lands. However, for an 11 year-old-girl, who couldn’t even recall the name of her village properly, the journey ahead seemed highly adventurous and exciting.
A year later, she took her first step out of her village on her maiden journey to earn with her elder brother. Destination was national capital, New Delhi, where her sibling worked as a labourer for over three years. Upon reaching the capital city, Chami’s brother—name preferably kept secret—handed her to a known employment agent.
She got her first job as a maid in a businessman’s house. However, within six months, her agent shifted her to another house and fled away. By the time, Chami had lost her diary that carried her brother’s contact number and her village address.
Left to fend for herself in the alien land, Chami somehow survived working in various homes for three years before she secured a job at the residence of one Sunil Khurana, an industrialist also associated with Round Table, an international friendship organisation that focuses on community service through various ways.
On the very first day, the Khurana family found that the girl was in distress. They made a lot of efforts in making her comfortable to open up and narrate her woes. The demure, shy girl eventually pleaded that she wanted to go back home but could not recall where her home was.
“She could only recall that she had boarded the train to Delhi with her brother from Ranchi,” said Khurana, adding, he immediately connected with Manpreet Singh Raja, Round Table India president and a native of Ranchi seeking his help to reunite the girl with her parents. Raja suggested Khurana to send the girl to Ranchi without delay.
Chami set off for Ranchi on September 6 with a staff couple of the Khuranas. Raja received the girl in Ranchi and began the daunting search operation for her parents. “The 15-year-old had no idea where her village was expect that the railway station was barely 20 minutes drive from her village,” he said, bewildered at the fate of his adventurous mission.
For nearly two days, Raja’s employee and driver took Chami to several villages that had a railway station nearby, but to no avail. However, upon researching on the internet, he discovered that villages could be traced by local dialect. He made Chami talk to an old tribal man in Khunti, who immediately discovered that she hailed from the Ho tribe, who reside in West Singhbhum.
By then Chami could recall the name of Sonua railway station. Since the journey ahead was troublesome due to presence of Left extremists in the area, Raja sought the help of ADG, special branch, Anurag Gupta, who immediately offered them policemen to accompany.
The team took her to Sonua and she instantly recalled the presence of a market nearby. As they reached the market, Chami met and recognised a man from her village. The policemen asked the man to bring her parents to the police station. On Sunday, Chami reunited with her parents after going missing for nearly four years. “I am happy that I could be of some help in reuniting the girl with her parents,” said the ADG speaking high of the Round Tablers conviction and philanthropy.
First Published: Sep 13, 2017 17:35 IST