Thursday February 23 2006 11:38 IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For Mamath Sherif, it was a moment of both joy and despair. Joy because he was reunited with his nine-year-old son who had gone missing months ago, and despair, because how could he tell his son that his mother had died while he was away?
Childline, Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday witnessed emotional moments as Mabasha, a boy from Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh who had gone missing in Bangalore, was reunited with his father and seven-year-old younger brother.
Mabasha was handed over to Childline in September, 2005 by the Railway Police who had found him on a train.
The only clue Childline had about the boy was the telephone number of one Jafar, said to be the boy’s uncle.
“Though we contacted him, Jafar could not pass the news on to Mamath Sherif. So we sent messages to all childline centres across the country in a bid to trace the boy’s family,” a childline official said.
About this time, Mabasha’s mother Salma, 28, and his younger brother Gosmudeen were taken into custody by the Vijayawada police who found the two wandering in the streets. Gosmudeen was handed over to the Vijayawada Childline, and Salma was admitted to a Government Hospital as her health was bad. Sherif managed to reach Vijayawada, but Salma died in December.
Hope of a reunion between the father and son dawned after Jafar managed to convey the message to Sherif that his son was in Thiruvananthapuram.
“He first contacted us on February 13 and again, after five days,” Childline officials said. Sherif and Gosmudeen reached Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
“Sherif said he was a tea vendor at the Dharmavaram Railway Station. According to him, his wife and children used to go missing regularly, but always returned home after some days. The last time they left home, Salma had taken the kids to Bangalore, where Mabasha had gone missing,” Childline officials said.
Childline said they would contact NGOs in Vijayawada to take care of the boys’ education. Sherif and the boys left for home on the Kanyakumari-Bangalore Express on Wednesday afternoon.