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Social workers & social media helped critically ill elderly man with kin meet his family after 10 years

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jun 25, 2022 5:02 PM

Read Time: 3 minute

An elderly man who had been living on the streets of Talaiya for ten years was rescued by a team of social workers and was reunited with his family in Multai, in the Betul district. They sent out information on him on hundreds of Whatsapp groups until the message reached his family.

Social workers discovered the elderly guy in the Budhwara neighbourhood two weeks ago in critical health. He hadn't eaten in days and was dressed in dirty, feces-covered clothes. He couldn't even support himself because of his state.

His photos and videos shared on hundreds of WhatsApp groups

He was given a bath by the social workers, who then called an ambulance and took him to the hospital, where he was given a TB diagnosis. He was unable to provide any information to his rescuers about himself or his family due to mental health issues. Undeterred, and unwilling to let him suffer ever again, the campaigners made the choice to find his family. They shared his photos and videos on hundreds of 
WhatsApp groups, seeking information.

Within two weeks, the team reunited Bhura with his wife and son

Working like detectives, some social workers walked around in Budhwara, talking to local residents. One of them said that when the elderly man was well, he had spoken about Multai. The team focused their attention on Multai and contacted the local MLA and police. They finally had a name: Bhura Kaslekar. Within two weeks, the team reunited Bhura with his wife and son in Multai on June 19.

Social worker Ayan Khan, 30, of CTO Bairagarh, shared his personal experience. He said that on June 6, some villagers had informed him that an elderly guy was lying gravely ill on a footpath close to Kali Mata temple in front of Talaiya police station. Dr. Zeeshan Hanif, Mohan Soni, Sahab Salim, and Naresh Lomhare, in addition to Ayan, went there. They called the police after being horrified by his condition, and the police reported that they had called an ambulance.

Bhura needed long-term care

The ambulance driver allegedly refused to carry Bhura to hospital, saying he had no attendant. By then, the social workers had cleaned him up and given him a bath. They took him to Hamidia Hospital in another ambulance, from where he was referred to TB Hospital. Under medical care, Bhura started recovering rapidly but the activists knew he needed long-term care.

When they finally traced Bhura’s family, they got to know that he had been missing from home since 2012. Initially, his family didn’t believe they had found him and said it was impossible. But the activists managed to convince them and Bhura’s 25-year-old son, who works in Nagpur, came down to Bhopal with his mother Pramila.

She identified him as her husband, said Ayan. It turned out that he had been an auto-rickshaw driver in Multai but alcoholism made him mentally unstable and he went away from home in 2012. Pramila and her 
then 15-year-old son looked desperately for him but in vain. They had no clue he was 225km away, living on a footpath. They had lost all hope of ever finding him until they got Ayan’s call.


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