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20-year search for their mother ends in Kerala as WhatsApp reunites family

Karishma (Centre) along with her family members and rescue home superintendent N Rasiya at the rescue home in Tavanur. Image: Special Arrangement.

In a heartwarming turn of events, a Maharashtra family has traced their missing family member to Kerala after 20 years and took her back home. A post in a WhatsApp group helped the family to locate 50-year-old Karishma of Roha, Raigarh who has been living in Government Rescue Home at Tavanur in Kerala since 2008.

On April 19, the family members including Karishma reached the rescue home and took her along with them to their home. The family expressed their gratitude to the staff of the rescue home for taking care of Karishma for the last 14 years.

Rescue Home Superintendent N Rasiya told “Open Digest” that it was a post made by one of the staff of the rescue home in a whatsApp group that helped Karishma to reunite with her family members. “It was a few months back that a staff member became a member of the whatsApp group in which social workers and NGOs of other states were present. He made a post in the group a few months back and it was a social worker in Jharkhand who could help the family connect with the rescue home after seeing the WhatsApp post,” Rasiya added.

As per the details, Karishma was brought to the rescue home by the police in 2008 after she was found roaming the streets of Perinthalmanna alone in a mentally unsound condition. A psychological evaluation revealed that Karishma, who has been working as an anganwadi teacher, left home one day in 2003. For five years she roamed other parts of the country before reaching Kerala in 2008. She was given counselling at the rescue home and treated for her condition.

The informal WhatsApp group was created by social workers and NGOs, working in the field of rehabilitating orphan persons found on the streets, to help family members trace their missing dear ones. “We never expected a result when we posted her details in the group. We are really happy that a WhatsApp group could help the woman reunite with her family after all these years,” Rasiya added.

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