We discovered him hundreds of miles from home, alone and crying on a platform.
It was clear that not only was he lost and distressed, but he also had delayed development and struggled to speak. Rohit was extremely vulnerable so we took him to our centre where he was made safe, fed and soon fell asleep. Over the following days he told us how he lived with his disabled mother, alcoholic father and several sisters who worked as domestic maids to support the family. He had boarded a train while playing at the station but couldn’t get off in time when it suddenly started moving and ended up travelling for many hours. Rohit could not recall his address or parents’ phone number so he stayed at the centre for many months while we helped him learn basic skills and helped him express his emotions by drawing.
We helped them overcome addiction problems and secure better incomes so they can support their children and were preparing to return Rohit to them when Covid19 hit India. With transport limited, Rohit was forced to stay at our centre until we could finally reunite him with his parents, 10 months after he first went missing. When we made a follow up visit at the end of last year we found Rohit happy, settled at home and enjoying colouring as well as being back with his family.
*Names and identities have been changed.