Four-year-old abducted girl meets mother on adoption day in Pune

Tanishka with her parents Sachin Kamble and Priyanka

Pune: Over a year after she was abducted, a four-year-old girl was reunited with her family last week, the same day she was to be adopted by a Pune couple. Tanishka was kidnapped from Pune railway station on March 29 last year while waiting with her grandmother to catch a train back home to Kolhapur.

The child and the grandmother fell asleep during the wait, and a man seized this opportunity to grab Tanishka and flee. The girl was found abandoned two months later in Sassoon General Hospital's ward 3, with a plastic bag and an empty milk bottle. After due procedure, the child welfare committee placed her in the care of childcare centre Shreevatsa, run by charitable trust Society of Friends of the Sassoon Hospital (SOFOSH) in Pune.

"All she knew was her name. We put up notices in the local newspapers, but no one responded. She became eligible for adoption on June 1 this year" said Sharmila Sayyed, SOFOSH admin in-charge.

A loving couple from Pune met all adoption criteria and were set to take Tanishka home when the Government Railway Police (GRP) came looking for her on July 26. "We were finalising her adoption papers when they arrived with a picture of Tanishka, and told us that she had been abducted a year ago," said Sayyed.

The police's arrival was serendipitous; Tanishka was to be adopted the next day. NB Muntode, GRP sub-inspector, said, "We put a stop to the adoption process as soon as we established the girl's identity."

The GRP brought Tanishka's parents to Pune from Kolhapur, and the family was reunited at Shreevatsa. Mother Priyanka Kamble, 33, who is seven months pregnant, said the family had sou­ght the GRP's help repeatedly to trace Tanishka.

Priyanka and husband Sach­in, 35, are daily wage labourers. They also have a six-year-old daughter. "Tanishka was the apple of my in-laws' eyes. My mother had taken her home last year and had planned to bring her back post Holi," said Priyanka. "Our prayers have been answered."

Muntode said the abductor has been identified one Shrikant through CCTV camera footage, but he's on the run.

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