The boy, who went missing at the age of one and a half, has come to visit his parents 20 years later as a grown-up man. This miracle happened in the life of Nageswara Rao and his wife Sivakami, a resident of Pulianthope, Chennai.
“We can never forget the day when the child disappeared. On the 18th of February, 1999, our child ‘Subhash’ disappeared. At that time, there was water scarcity in our area. My wife had left to fetch water from the road tap which is at a 50-foot distance. Meanwhile, a stranger kidnapped our 1 and half-year-old child. When we found that the child was missing, we searched everywhere. The residents of our area (nearly 400 people ) helped us too in the search. But, we could not find subash. Later, we registered a complaint at the police station. But, it all went in vain”, says Nageshwar Rao.
Mohana Vadivel, the lawyer who helped the parents to meet with their son who had lost years ago spoke of this. “About 5 years after the disappearance of the baby, the Nageswara Rao couple met me. The family was in a pitiable condition. The kidnappers have changed the name of the child to ‘Ashraf’ and sold it for a few thousand to an orphanage in Thiruverkadu. The child has been legally adopted by an American couple. Unaware of this, we filed a petition in the Madras High Court.,” says Mohana Vadivelu.
“Following the court order for a CBI inquiry, the CPI gave us all the information I mentioned above. The problem was that, on the date of Subhash’s adoption, 3 children have been adopted by foreign couples. I gathered information on all the three using Indian embassies and service-minded journalists in their respective countries. Finally, Subhash, who went missing in Puliyanthope, was 13 years old when he learned that he was growing up in the US under the name ‘Avi Manthe’. We asked permission to take a picture of the boy. But the fister parents didn’t allow. Only then did we try and legally test the DNA and confirm that ‘Avi Manthe’ was the kidnapped child ‘Subhash’. The boy was 15 when this happened. We waited patiently. When Avi was 18 years old, he began to slowly say, ‘Hi, hello’ through emails. I told him about his parents”, described Mohana Vadivel.
Father Nageshwar Rao, who was excited by his son’s arrival says “I wasn’t able to see my kid for over 20 years. Now that I see him, it feels heavenly though the language is a barrier to speak my heart out. He cried when we showed him the toy, he used to play with when he was with us”. “Our kid told us that he had completed degree and it would take 2 years to settle with a job. He told us that he would take us along with him. But to me, I saw my son. What else do I need”, says an emotionally broken father. And, Avi Manthe will return to America tomorrow.
News and Photo Courtesy: Vikatan