A 40-year-old man from Cooch Behar district missing for the last 12 years has been reunited with his family, over a year after he was spotted by a social worker in Chennai. He suffers from mental illness, and initially struggled to tell his carers where he was from.
In January 2019, Makbul Hossain was found in a deranged state by a social worker from the Udavum Karangal philanthropic organisation in Chennai’s Vadapalani neighbourhood. The social worker, Jacob, saw Hossain roaming around the streets muttering to himself. He was carrying a bag full of waste materials.
“I saw him in a very pitiable condition and when asked if he was willing to come with me to Udavum Karangal Home, he immediately got into the ambulance,” said Jacob. Hossain was admitted to the organisation’s Gayathri Hospital, where he was given four units of blood as he was found to be anaemic, said Udavum Karangal’s founder Vidyaakar.
Initially, Hossain was unable to recall anything about his family. After a few months of medication and psychiatric treatment, his condition improved. Slowly, he started giving his family details. He told his hosts that he belonged to Chhodaatharakotha village in Cooch Behar’s Moamari panchayat area. He told them about his parents Jekir Uddin Miya and Mujjiya, four brothers, and a sister named Momina. Hossain told his carers that his wife’s name was Moshina, and that they had two children.
“Though he couldn’t give an exact address, he told us about a mosque in his village. After searching the same on the Internet, we found the phone number of the mosque and based on their tip-off, we could contact his family,” said Jacob.
Hossain’s family members immediately asked them about their address, and his brother Sahidul Haq arrived in Chennai on November 7. Haq is a construction worker in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. “We reached [Cooch Behar] today [Monday]. About one week ago, we received information about him. It was such good news,” Haq said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines