When three-year-old Jahnvi’s family received a phone call on Sunday night — a week after the girl went missing from India Gate — they were not sure if they should take the caller’s claims seriously. Having travelled as far as Rohtak and Meerut, apart from looking for their daughter in the capital, Jahnvi’s family thought it was unlikely that the girl would be in Mayapuri.
However, when the caller gave details of the girl and spoke about a piece of paper she was carrying — which had her father’s name and phone numbers of her relatives — the family realised Jahnvi had been found. “We were not very sure if it was her because we had been getting at least two calls every day, all of which claimed that Jahnvi had been found,” Sheetal, her mother who had been on a fast for seven days, said.
Sunday’s phone call, however, gave details of what the girl was wearing and her father’s name. “There was a piece of paper with Jahnvi which had her father’s name and even phone numbers of my brothers,” Sheetal said.
Following the phone call, Jahnvi’s family rushed to the Mayapuri police station. “As soon as her father reached the police station, she recognised him. Saying ‘papa, papa’, she rushed to him,” Jahnvi’s grandmother Naresh Rani said.
“It was exactly seven days ago — around 9.30 pm last Sunday — that she had gone missing and this Sunday, we received a call informing us that she had been found at the same time,” Sheetal said.
On September 28, Jahnvi, her parents and a few neighbours from their colony had decided to spend the day at India Gate. While Jahnvi played with a group of children, the adults were keeping a watch on them as they sat in a group. A minute-long distraction and Jahnvi was nowhere to be found.
“The incident took place around 9.30 pm. We approached some policemen and announcements for Jahnvi were made a couple of times while all of us were frantically looking for her,” Rakesh, the girl’s father, said.
Following the incident, her family launched a campaign on social media — Facebook, Twitter and Whats App — in the hope that the three-year-old would be found.
To celebrate her return, residents of Raghubir Colony in West Delhi are organising a prayer meeting on Tuesday while her family is planning a visit to Vaishno Devi next week to seek blessings. “Diwali was celebrated at RG block on Sunday itself,” Naresh Rani said.
On Monday evening, neighbours made a beeline to Jahnvi’s house — some carrying chocolates while others brought packets of chips and Frooti. Sitting on her grandmother’s lap, Jahnvi was quick to take her gifts and mouthed a ‘thank you’ every time she got something. “We heard that the first thing she told her father when she saw him was she was hungry. These are her favourite things,” a neighbour said.
“Since Jahnvi disappeared, all of us have spent sleepless nights. When we heard she had been found, we were all out — in the park or on the streets — till 2-3 am to get a glimpse of her. It was only when we saw her that we could go to sleep,” the neighbour said.