BENGALURU: “Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s consistent demand on Aadhaar card, today because of compulsory Aadhaar enrolment drives we have been able to see our missing son again,” said an emotional Jagadesh Prajapati, who was in Bengaluru to take his missing son Om Prakash Prajapati to their home town Garhwa, Jharkhand.
Three missing children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who were separated from their families years ago, were reunited with their parents with the help of Aadhaar enrolment numbers. UIDAI regional office, Bengaluru, recently carried out an Aadhaar enrolment drive at orphanages. During a background check of these enrolments, it was found that three children at an orphanage on Hosur Road had already enrolled for Aadhaar cards that had their previous addresses.
Jagadesh, a land surveyor, lost his 20-year-old son Om Prakash a year ago in a town of Uttar Pradesh while travelling with a marriage party in a vehicle. He says, “The vehicle stopped at a petrol filling station and that is when Om went out to fetch water. When he did not return even after a long time, we started looking out for him, but we could not find him. We did everything — from filing FIR to regular follow-ups. We had a hope that one day we will see our son.”
When Jagadesh was informed by the local authorities that his son has been traced, it was no less than a celebration at his home. “His mother had tears in her eyes. His brother who is 11 years old now is waiting to meet him,” added the father. Om Prakash was brought to the state-run child care centre on May 21, 2016.
The story of Balaji Naik who went missing almost three years ago and brought to the orphanage on February 24, 2014, when he was 17 years old is no less different. His mother Mallika, a daily wage labourer in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, said, “His father works as a security guard in Hosakerehalli. Once Balaji had accompanied his father to Bengaluru. They were travelling from Kuppam to Bengaluru in a train. At Majestic railway station, his father went to the toilet, but when he came out, he could not find Balaji anywhere.”
The family was informed about their missing son by the village head who was contacted by UIDAI. “We could not believe that after three years we were going to meet him,” the mother said.
Narendra (Monu) from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, was also traced and sent with his parents.
Divya Narayana, District Child Protection Officer said, “The Aadhaar drive happened eight days ago. UIDAI found three children already had Aadhaar cards. Our Superintendent crossed checked and informed us. The parents seem happy, but in such circumstances most children are abandoned by parents.”