Sandeep a young man

Sandeep is reunited with his family
Sandeep, the young boy who has been staying with the D-foundation for a number of months has been reunited with his family. His story is an unfortunately one and we are delighted to have been able to assist him in finding his parents. He had been separated from them for approximately 10 years. First he was taken as a child slave for an estimated nine years. After numerous attempts he finally escaped and traveled toward Mumbai where his parents were living. On his way he was arrested by the police for having no ticket on the train and was placed in a juvenile detention centre (which is where he met ourselves at the D-Foundation).
On Saturday morning a team of three people set off for the neighboring state of Bihar; D-Foundation project manager Vikas, volunteer Patrick and Sandeep himself. The first step was to travel to Bodhgaya, Bihar and find a guesthouse to stay in. Here we would meet some locals with knowledge of the area and plan a search route. This was a very encouraging first step and we gained a lot of information about the area we thought Sandeeps home was located. Early Sunday morning we headed north by bus and 7 hours later via several buses and autorickshaws we reached the intended village. From speaking with several people who knew the area, we were very optimistic we had located the correct village. On arrival at the village however we began to lose confidence. Sandeep did not recognise the village and there were distinct differences to his village such as the lack of electricity here. The local people could not identify our descriptions of the parents and we were devastated. We had high hopes here and there was no Plan B. We went to the village elders and explained to them about our search. They could not help but gave us one very important piece of information. They told us that a village of a similar name to their existed about 90 km west from there. So we took the only option available and headed west from there for another 7 hours via various buses, cars and even walking some kilometres where we could not find other transport. As night began to fall and we were walking the eight remaining kilometres to the village recommended earlier to us we stopped at a small roadside shop. We spoke with a man there and again told him the details of our search. He seemed convinced we were almost at the home of Sandeep as all the details we gave him matched the details of the nearby village. With renewed optimisn we travelled the remaining distance with the man by car and as we entered the village Sandeep immediately recognised the home ofhis former teacher whom he lived with before he left. The teacher was outside and recognised him almost instantly. He confirmed that a large scale search for Sandeep had taken place and local newspapers, televisions stations and radio stations had helped. The family were devasted by the loss and even the teacher had suffered greatly. Sandeep had been in the teachers care when he left the village and his departure resulted in the closing down of the school he was running.
Delighted we had been successful we continued from there to Sandeeps grandfathers home and it was an emotional reunion for him. Sandeeps parents are still living in Mumbai and they were called immediately. His father set off the following morning to come to Bihar and it seems certain Sandeep will return with him to Mumbai . There he can spend some time with his family and decide where he would like to continue his life. He has become a part of the D-Foundation team here in Sarnath and the door is always open if he wishes to return.
Thank you