Vagrant picked up after techie's tweet to Maneka

A tweet to Union woman and child development minister Maneka Gandhi led to a day-long search for a vagrant woman who was finally traced close to midnight last Friday. 

By Sudeshna banerjee
  • Published 29.07.16
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A tweet to Union woman and child development minister Maneka Gandhi led to a day-long search for a vagrant woman who was finally traced close to midnight last Friday. 

Subhadip Mukherjee, a software firm employee, had taken a picture of an emaciated and scantily clothed woman sitting huddled on a pavement in front of Bengal Intelligent Park in Sector V. He posted the picture on the minister’s twitter page with a plea for help on July 20. Gandhi tweeted back, seeking her exact location and promising a “safe shelter” for her. But by then, the woman was no longer to be found at the earlier spot. So Mukherjee posted a second message on his page on July 22, seeking help to trace the woman.

Meanwhile, a directive from the Central Social Welfare Board had reached its state counterpart which in turn sought help from Jayaprakash Institute of Social Change in DD Block. It also lodged an FIR with the Bidhannagar Commissionerate. “We sent out our students in batches to scan the streets. An assistant sub-inspector of the Sector V police station accompanied us. We also lodged a general diary with the thana. But the three-hour search yielded nothing,” said Joydeb Mazumdar, honorary secretary of the institute. 

At night, as it started raining, he sent his driver out again with his car to look for the woman. “They found her five minutes before midnight. She was taken to the Sector V police station and handed over.”

“The woman is unable to speak so her identity could not be ascertained. She is quiet and non-violent and eats when offered food. We admitted her to Bidhannagar Sub-divisional Hospital for two days for medical examination which then referred her to Nilratan Sircar Medical College on Monday. On Tuesday, she was produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Mayukh Bhavan, along with her medical report. The court directed that she be handed over to Calcutta Pavlov Hospital which treats mental illness,” informed inspector in charge of Sector V police station Nirmal Majhi.

The turn of events has left Mukherjee pleasantly surprised. “Tweeting Maneka Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee was the only thing  that came to my mind on spotting the evidently deranged woman in scanty clothes scavenging the streets for food. I am glad that action was taken within 24 hours,” he said.