| Md Idrish (Below), who got reunited with his seven-year-old son at DAV School in Mahagama, Godda, on Thursday, will have to wait for his five-year-old daughter to return from Calicut. (Above) A photocopy of Aadhaar card of one of his children. Pictures by Chhandosree
Ranchi, June 13: Twelve children, who were part of the group rescued in Kerala, have been left behind in Calicut, Jharkhand officials who escorted 119 kids of Godda on Wednesday, have now realised.
This sombre fact emerged after the 119 children had been accounted for at yesterday’s hand-over meeting at DAV School, Mahagama block, coordinated by Godda administration and child welfare committee members.
That’s when one of the parents, Md Idrish, almost broke down. Clutching his seven-year-old son, among the 119 children who returned from Kerala on Thursday, the man realised his five-year-old daughter was missing.
Still, he kept asking his son: “Kahan gahlak bahin, sathe gahlak (Where is your sister, she went with you)?”
Hesitantly, the man came up to The Telegraph correspondent and said that he had sent two of his three children to Kerala in May, but though his son returned, his daughter had not.
When Idrish approached subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Gaurang Mahto, three more fathers, Md Maqbool, Md Razaque and Md Nijan, with the same worry, joined him.
All four had brought Aadhaar cards of the children. They immediately wrote an application requesting SDM Mahto to trace their children. Mahto assured them he would speak to Godda deputy commissioner Rajesh Kumar Sharma on the matter.
Later, four Kerala officials, who had also accompanied the children to Godda, promised to look into the matter. Even as they waited for a train to Palakkad, they called Calicut-based child probation officer Shiba, who then mailed them a list of inmates at a children’s home in Calicut.
Among them were the 12 children from Jharkhand, including Idrish’s daughter and the three five-year-olds whose fathers had joined him with the same concern.
According to Shiba’s email, 173 children from Jharkhand, including 83 girls, reached Calicut Children’s Home, run by child welfare officials, in two lots of 110 and 63 on May 25 and 27. Of them, 140 had been handed over to Mukkam Muslim Orphanage.
Contacted this morning, SDM Mahto said he would hold a meeting with the DC at the earliest to bring back the 12 Calicut children.
Idrish, when told over phone that his daughter was in the Calicut home, said: “I have no words to express my thanks. I will talk to officials here to find out what is being done to bring back the children, or I will myself go and bring back my daughter. I was foolish to have sent my kids so far away.”