JAIPUR— Ten-year-old Mahesh had no hope of reuniting with his younger sister Mamta, who had gone missing five years back, but this Rakhi brought a pleasant surprise for him.
Mamta was abducted and forced into begging by child traffickers. She was recovered along with three children earlier this month and was living in a shelter home in Ajmer thereafter.
Child welfare committee members handed over the girl to her family members yesterday after verifying her antecedents.
Mamta was picked on March 30, 2010 from a local fair in Nawa city of Nagaur district. Her cobbler father, now dead, and other family members left no stone unturned to trace the girl but all efforts were in vain.
"Initially, a missing complaint was filed on 30 March 2010 but a case of abduction was filed on April 11, 2010 when it came to light that the girl was last seen with a balloon vendor, who was also missing," Investigating officer of Nawa Police Station, Prahlad Singh told PTI.
"The case was closed the very year after no progress was made. This year on August 2, a man was arrested in some other area of the district for suspicious activities. He had in his possession five children who were engaged in begging and other works. The children were sent to a shelter home and the accused man was remanded to judicial custody," he said.
After the family members read in a newspaper about the recovery of five children, with a girl named Mamta, they approached the police and the shelter home and identified her following which she was handed over to family members.
The ordeal of the five children came to end when some villagers informed police about the suspicious activities of the man, who sometime used to sell balloons or worked in a mosque or did other petty works.
"He used to torture us.I thought it was my destiny but today I am very happy to unite with my family again," the girl, who had also forgotten the name of her brother Mahesh, told PTI today.
However, at the same time, she was upset that her father was no more.Her father died in 2010 after she went missing.
The girl now wants to continue her studies.
Her mother Sita Devi, who works in a salt factory, said it was a very emotional moment for the poor family yesterday when the girl returned home.
"Both the brother and sister (Mahesh and Mamta) were so happy yesterday to meet again that they did not wait for Saturday to celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan and she tied a Rakhi on his wrist yesterday," their mother said.
"For the last five years, my elder sister Vimla had been tying Rakhi on my wrist but today I am very happy that both the sisters are with me," Mahesh said.
Though Mamta has been fortunate to reunite with her family, the other children are still waiting to reunite with their family members.