Social media will do what authorities cannot, says missing autistic child Tarun Kumar's father

Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 07:22 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Missing autistic child Tarun Kumar's father has spent Rs 32,000 to monetise Facebook pages to help narrow the search amid the lockdown

Tarun Gupta
Tarun Gupta

With no updates of sightings of his autistic son Tarun, 16, who went missing from near their home in Colaba since October 1, his father Vinod Kumar Gupta has turned to social media for help.

Since March 31, Gupta has amplified his search on Facebook at the national level and state level. He has asked a professional to handle one page that has been monetarily boosted for R10,000 to ensure audience at the national level, while the other which targets specific states where there is a high probability of Tarun being seen, is being handled personally by Vinod and has been boosted for R20,000 so far. These include Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

"In the time of the lockdown, this (social media) is the only solution... it will do what the authorities haven't been able to do so far," said Vinod, speaking to mid-day. "Everyone is at home and they are usually either on their mobile phones or watching TV…therefore the chances of them coming across information related to Tarun are more than what they were was previously. Also, since there are less people on the streets, it could be easier to spot him once the message gets out."

The response to the Facebook pages has been helpful. "There is a lot of engagement and discussions going on in the comments section…evidently the posts are making an impact. People are widely sharing the posts of Tarun being missing," Gupta said.

He added, "I just hope that my son is not starving and roaming the streets. My gut tells me he's with some NGO or CWC but we just don't know about it yet."

1 October
Day Tarun Gupta went missing rom near his house

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