Thane: An illiterate tribal youth from Raigad district who was separated from his parents fifteen years ago has been reunited with his family, Thane police today said.

DCP (traffic) Dr Rashmi Karandikar said at a press conference that constable Namdeo Parsuram Himgire spotted the boy two months ago in Narpoli area of Bhiwandi in the district, and took a lot of efforts to trace his family. Lahu, about 20 years old, sold vada-pav. Himgire sensed that something was wrong and asked him about his background.

Lahu couldn't tell him anything except that he was separated from his family 15 years ago, and the place where he came from had a temple by the side of a river and it was on the road to Goa.
Armed with this scant information, Himgire zeroed in on Dahegaon-Adivasiwada of Sudaghad taluka in Raigad district and found the youth's house there. Lahu's parents had left for work in a brick kiln at an unknown place, but the police found his uncle Bharku Nathu Waghmare.

The youth told the reporters that he didn't remember how he got separated from his parents, but he worked at hotels in Nagothane and later ended up in Vasai, where a transport businessman named Arvind Kumar gave him shelter. He can not read or write, he said, but has learnt driving.

Lahu's parents are expected to return to their village by June, but the police are trying to trace them and contact them before that.