In a heart-warming story which is reminiscent of movies with similar scripts, Maruti and Bharati, two siblings, were reunited after a decade of living apart.
After the death of their parents, the children found themselves at the mercy of an aunt, who abandoned them outside a temple in Malali.
While Bharati, now 13, had to work in a coffee planter’s house in Sakleshpur, her brother, Maruti, 16, was taken in by a family who took good care of him.
The Child Welfare Committee of Hassan is responsible for this miraculous reunion.
On January 1, 2018, the CWC received a complaint of child labour in Sakleshpur. The Child Helpline volunteers responded to the call, rescued Bharati, and brought her to the CWC. While interacting with her, they learnt that she had no relatives, except a brother.
“The girl could hardly remember her days with her brother. All that we could gather from her was that she had been living with her brother in a village near Shantigrama. She remembered playing near a temple and school ground next to that,” said HT Komala, president of the CWC, to The Hindu.
Bharati was taken around the villages near Shantigrama, and on reaching Malali, her memory slowly began to catch up, and she seemed to be familiar with the place. Enquiries revealed that a boy named Maruti was living there, but wasn’t home that day.
On Tuesday, when Maruti walked into the CWC office and embraced Bharati, they siblings had an emotional reunion. The duo recounted stories from their childhood.
Bharati’s former employer in Sakleshpur is now in trouble and will be booked under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.
“The girl will be kept in the government girl’s home as of now, as her brother is still a minor,” Ms Geeta, a member of the CWC, informed The Hindu.