Missing for 9 years, 'Siddu' reunites with family

Missing for 9 years, 'Siddu' reunites with family

Missing for 9 years, 'Siddu' reunites with family

He would savour every mouthful of dal bhaat and kheer made by his mother. But that was nine years ago — nine long years since he enjoyed a meal with his family. Unaware of his whereabouts, they had lost all hopes of finding him.

And then a miracle happened, which brought Sanjeev Dangal (27), a hotel management trainee from Sunderpur, Nepal, out of obscurity and into a life of validity.

Dangal was lying on the streets of Talapady near here. His hair was overgrown and beard had not been shaved in ages. His mind was unsound and he would not utter a word.

Joseph Crasta, the managing director of Snehalaya Charitable Trust, picked Dangal one-and-a-half years ago. He tried to enquire with him about his family but there was no response.

Crasta gave Dangal a makeover: cut his long hair, shaved his beard and gave him a good bath. Later, he got him treated but doctors confirmed he cannot speak as his vocal chords had been damaged. Crasta named him ‘Siddu’ and gave him shelter at Snehalaya, the home for the abandoned in Talapady. Dangal was also treated for mental illness.

Still unable to speak, Siddu charmed the inmates with his smile and demeanour. He did their chores and easily mingled with them.

On August 25, to everybody’s surprise, Siddu suddenly began speaking. An elated Crasta then sent a letter to the address Dangal had mentioned him. After a few days, Snehalaya got a call.

Dangal is from a well-to-do family. His father, Omprasad, is a tea businessman. Mother is Devi Dangal. Nine years ago, Dangal had come to Delhi for a training course in hotel management and stayed with cousin Dinesh Acharya.

After the first day, he called up home. But he did not go for training the second day, telling his cousin that he was unwell. Acharya left for work but when he returned, Dangal was missing.

His family came down to Delhi in his search and even filed a missing complaint. But all their efforts failed. The chances  were slight.

When Devi Dangal spoke to her son, her happiness knew no bounds. Her younger son, Suraj Dangal, and Acharya, then set out from Nepal. “It was a heart-touching reunion. Sanjeev got emotional when he met his family,” Crasta told reporters here on Wednesday.

“Sanjeev was very close to our mother and she was dejected when he disappeared,” Suraj said, adding that the family was desperate to welcome him back.

Dangal, however, does not know where he was in the last nine years and how he landed in Mangalore. “I am looking forward to going home and eating dal bhaat, pickle and kheer made by my mother,” a shy Dangal told Deccan Herald.

He left Mangalore on Wednesday and may reach Nepal on Saturday evening.

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