The COVID-19 pandemic has separated many from their loved ones. Some succumbed to the virus and some are stranded far away from their families due to the nationwide lockdown. But things turned out to be a bit different for a family in West Bardhaman district in West Bengal. They were reunited because of the pandemic.
It all started 21 years ago when Suresh Prasad from Burnpur suddenly left home and went to Delhi after a tiff with his family. Prasad, a daily wage earner, left behind his aged father, wife, son and two daughters. All these years, apart from one letter, he was not in touch with family.
But on Thursday afternoon, his family members got a pleasant surprise. They got a call from the local Hirapur Police Station. They were told that Prasad had returned from Delhi in a special train on Wednesday night.
Soon, they rushed to the government run hospital in Asansol where Prasad have been kept for a checkup. It was an emotional moment when Prasad met with his family after 21 years. According to sources in the district police, despite maintaining social distancing, both sides were able to recognise each other.
They said that overwhelmed with emotions both sides remained silent for a while. Then his wife Urmila told Prasad: “After leaving home, you only sent a letter eight years ago saying that you will return soon. But you didn’t.” Prasad remained silent for a while as tears began to trickle down his eyes.
Later, he said that he was not getting any work in Delhi due to the lockdown and decided to return home.
His family members told him that his two daughters were married by this time and his father was no more. The family was sustained by Prasad’s father all these years.
“Everything has changed here but my family has remained the same,” was all Prasad said before tears choked his voice.
However, he has to wait for some more days before going home as his swab test result is yet to arrive. Till then he has to remain in quarantine.