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He had gone missing when he was just 12 years old. Family members thought that he might have died. However, he returned home after 60 years. The happiness of the family members of Gobardhana Lahara knew no bounds after he finally returned home. The whole village erupted in joy and welcomed him with dhol, music and dance after his return.
According to sources, Gobardhana of Luhagudi Harijan Sahi under Mohana block of Gajapati district was only 12-year-old when he had gone to work as a bonded labourer along with a few fellow villagers. A Berhampur-based middleman had taken them to work as migrant workers in Madhya Pradesh’s Hursinghgaba district.
However, the migrant workers weren’t paid well and made to work under extreme conditions following which they decided to return to their village. All of them boarded a train back to Berhampur, but TTE caught Gobardhana and threw him off the train at Nagpur railway station.
While his fellow villagers, returned home, he was lost at Nagpur railway station. Assuming he was mentally not well, the Nagpur Municipality officials sent him to a mental hospital where he grew up as a child.
“Everyone returned, but I was left behind at Nagpur railway station. I was too young back then. I spent 15 days in the railway station all alone. Later, the Municipality workers thought I was a mentally-retarded and put me in a mental hospital. Later, one of the employees in the mental hospital understood that I was a normal child and put me to work in a hotel. Since then, I was working in the hotel,” said an emotional Gobardhana Lahara.
“He had gone missing for the last 60 years and has returned now. There was no mobile or anything back then, to track him or know his whereabouts. We tried to find him but to no avail. We thought he had died, but he is alive and has finally returned home. We are more than happy,” said his younger sister, Roopam Pradhan.
- Reported by:
- Mihir Jati