The brothers, Deepak and Sanjay, reunited after 12 years.
Twelve years after he left his family in Guwahati as an angry kid, an Assam youth has managed to meet with his elder brother, who landed in Kerala as a migrant worker two months back.
In between the years of separation, Sanjay picked up a new life in Kerala. Although he came as a child labourer, Sanjay was rehabilitated in a home for street children; he was enrolled in a school; and finally got a job in a premium hotel in Kochi.
Since he reached Kochi as a migrant worker two months back, elder brother Deepak had felt the churning inside for the lost brother. Deepak used to share with local co-workers about Sanjay, whom they had lost 12 years back.
The family in Guwahati knew that their kid was taken to Kochi in Kerala for child labour. But, they lost links and least bothered to find whether he was alive or not.
Piecing together the details given by Deepak, local workers indicated about Janaseva Sisubhavan at Aluva near Kochi, where hundreds of street children and those saved from child labour had been rehabilitated. The other day, Deepak went to Janaseva Sisubhavan and met its chairman Jose Maveli.
After Deepak narrated about his lost younger brother, Mavali managed to figure it out as Sanjay, now working as a waiter in a prominent hotel in Kochi. Sanjay was informed and was brought to the Sisubhavan for the rare reunion.
Sanjay came to Kochi 12 years through an agent who used to supply children for work in hotels and shops. “My father had been a drunkard. Due to utter poverty, I wanted to leave home. I had quarreled with the parents. An agent named Samad took me to Kochi and handed me over a poultry store,’’ recalls Sanjay.
He was engaged in the work of dressing chicken, but the store owner paid him little. Sanjay was told that his agent was collecting his wages regularly. His destiny was set to undergo a sea change when local police cracked the whip on child labour. Fearing arrest, the store owner jettisoned the Assam boy, who kept moving from place to another to find a job for survival.
One of his colleagues at the poultry store indicated about Janaseva Sisubhavan, where children like Sanjay were taken care of. Activists of Sisubhavan adopted the boy, who was admitted to a local school.
`I joined the sixth standard and completed 10th class. At the initiative of Jose Maveli, I got the job at the hotel two years back,’’ said Sanjay, now aged 24.
Sanjay said over the years of separation, he never longed for his family, comprising father, mother and six siblings. “In fact, I have forgotten the name of my father. Now, after meeting my brother Deepak, I want to go home.’’