Sunshine Story: Police reunites mentally ill senior citizen begging in Andheri with his family

Dec 05, 2018, 08:00 IST | Faizan Khan

Police Naik Rajesh Pandey spots 60-year-old mentally ill man begging near the Andheri Metro station and reunites him with his family in Rajasthan

Sunshine Story: Police reunites mentally ill senior citizen begging in Andheri with his family
Ram Avatar Mangilal reunited with his family from Merta in Rajasthan, who came to Mumbai and took him home

For the 800 families he has reunited with their missing loved ones, Police Naik Rajesh Pandey, 52, is nothing less than a 'Devdoot' (messenger of god). Never has this moniker been more apt than during his most recent feat, when he found the missing Ram Avatar and brought him together with his family. Ram Avatar Mangilal, in this case, is a 60-year-old retired army jawan who was found begging near the Andheri Metro station.

A few days ago, police personnel residing in the locality noticed the elderly man begging on the streets in filthy clothes. Pandey, a police naik with the Andheri police, was also passing by the locality on November 20, when he spotted the aged man scrounging for alms. "Even taking him to the police station didn't help much, as he was mentally ill, and couldn't recall much about his background. We took him to Cooper hospital, and he told us that he hailed from Merta in Rajasthan," recalled Pandey, who managed to trace Mangilal's family within 24 hours using that one piece of information.

Police Naik Rajesh Pandey earned the moniker Devdoot after reuniting hundreds of families with missing loved ones
Police Naik Rajesh Pandey earned the moniker Devdoot after reuniting hundreds of families with missing loved ones

"Under the guidance of my superiors, I called the local police station in Rajasthan and sent them his picture and details. Then we got in touch with his family, who arrived in Mumbai and took Mangilal home," added the police naik. Mangilal's family member, Manohar Lal told mid-day, "Mangailal had not returned home in eight months. He would speak to us on the phone every week or two. He told us that he was working in Surat, but never gave us his exact whereabouts. But for the past month, he hadn't even called. It was the Andheri police who called and informed us that he was begging in Mumbai. Now he is at home with his family."

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