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Reunion stories feed hope in TN

January 08, 2005 17:40 IST
Last Updated: January 08, 2005 19:47 IST

In the chaos that followed the tsunami on December 26, 2004, six-year-old Dinesh got into a bus and found himself stranded at Cuddalore, about 10 km from his home in Velankanni.

"We got a call from the Cuddalore police and we brought him back here on January 3.  The parents came searching for the child here and we are happy to witness the reunion," says D Kalyana Sundaram, additional superintendent of police in charge of the Missing Persons Cell at Nagapattinam.

For people in the tsunami-hit district searching for their missing relatives, such stories feed hope as they converge at the Cell.

Also see: India toll croses 10,000 | Complete coverage

Veeramani, who was also got lost in Velankanni, was handed over to his parents at nearby Puthukottai. The Mother Teresa Care Home gave Veeramani shelter and his photograph was put up at the Missing Persons Cell, which helped his parents trace him. Similarly, three-year-old Sowmya is waiting for her parents to come and collect her at the government-run orphanage at Sikkal.

But amid the joy of reunion are many other not-so-lucky faces.

Fifty-year-old fishmonger Doraiswamy from Keivelur had gone to the beach on December 26 to pick up his daily stock. His son, Santhanam, in his mid-20s, has been searching for him ever since.

"His photograph is not here," says Santhanam, as he leaves the Missing Persons Cell after scanning the over 1,000 photographs made available there.

For many like Santhanam, at least a confirmation of the death of loved one would make it easier to get on with their lives. "The death certificate is necessary for getting the relief money," he says.

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