Lost 10 years ago, hearing, speech-impaired teen tracks family through internet

Published: 23 July, 2020 13:58 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Chandigarh

Abdul remembered the name of his childhood friend and found him in Facebook and eventually managed to find his parents

This picture has been used for representation purpose only
This picture has been used for representation purpose only

Amid the coronavirus pandemic when many people are losing their loved ones to the deadly virus, a hearing and speech-impaired teen found his parents after almost 10 years through the internet. Abdul Latif, a class 11 student, was 8-year-old when he was found wandering in Punjab's Fatehgarh Sahib in 2010. His parents had lost him in Ghaziabad ten years ago.

A villager Gurnam Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib had found Abdul crying on the streets. Abdul's family in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district searched for him for years but in vain, according to a report in Indian Express.

Abdul, who is doing his schooling from Patiala School for the Deaf and Blind in Fatehgarh Sahib, has been attending online classes during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. The school has provided him with Internet, which helped him track down his family. Abdul remembered the name of his childhood friend and found him in Facebook and eventually managed to find his parents.

His father, Tahib Ali, who works as an embroiderer, wept in joy when he reached the Patiala school on Wednesday to meet his son and take him home.

Ten years ago, when Tahib lost Abdul in Ghaziabad, he had put up posters, advertised, and tried everything he could to find his son but there was no clue. Tahib has no clue how his son had landed in Fatehgarh Sahib.

Tahib said that a friend of Abdul managed to find their address and sent Abdul's photograph a month back. "When I saw the photo I realized that he is my son. My neighbours and relatives also identified him. Abdul also recognised everybody and could also write about many things that he knew as a child," Tahib said.

On finding her son after 10 years, Abdul's mother Salma Begum was ecstatic and repeatedly made calls to Tahib as he completed police formalities to take the custody of his son from the school.
Colonel Karminder Singh (retd), secretary of the society which runs the Patiala School for Deaf and Blind, said it was nothing short of a miracle that Abdul has found his family. "It was pure luck that Abdul managed to find one on his old friends on Facebook and recognised him. Even his friend made considerable efforts to locate Abdul's parents," said Col Karminder.

Abdul was staying with Gurnam Singh and his family. They also made efforts to trace his family. "We reported him as a missing child with the police and registered a complaint. Since he was deaf and mute, it was difficult to get information from him, but he would write the names of his father and mother," said Gurnam.

After finding out that Abdul is a Muslim, they encouraged him to practice his own religion. "We got him cricket bats and clothes. We had thought that once he completes his studies we will build a small house for him," added Gurnam.

Abdul's father praised the Patiala school management and the Sikh family that looked after him for all these years.

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