At the ongoing Maha Kumbh in Allahabad, more than two lakh people got separated from their near and dear ones in the last month-and-a half, and an equal number were reunited thanks to the ‘Khoya-Paya Shivirs’ (lost and found camps).
The reunions have been bringing relief to the otherwise hassled mela administration, which, for ages, has been criticised for doing little to ensure people are not lost, and if they are, they are united with their families.
According to officials at the mela, over two lakh people were registered on a new computerised system as ‘lost’ and were later reunited with their families through efforts such as announcements on public address systems, display of pictures and details on nine LED screens put up. At the lost and found centre, run by Bharat Seva Dal in sector 4 of the mela campus, more than 1.65 lakh people were reunited with their families till Feb 28 since the Kumbh began on Makar Sankranti on January 14.
This included 179 children. Seventy-three people, who were traced after a fortnight, were sent back home on trains with the Kumbh administration arranging the tickets. Officials said that more than 47 people were yet to be reunited with their families and efforts were on to ensure the reunion. Officials also thank octogenarian Raja Ram Tiwari who has been at the forefront of happy reunions at the Kumbh since 1994. He says he has so far helped more than 11 lakh people reunite with their families.
The number of people who got lost on Feb 9, the most on any given day during the fest