A Story of a young man’s tryst with SAPNA …..
Hundreds of accident victims are admitted to the ‘Trauma Centre’ of AIIMS everyday for treatment of injuries and disabilities. On August 12, 2008, an anonymous young man of around 30 years of age was brought in by the CATS Ambulance to the centre at 11 AM. He was found to be suffering from fractures resulting from a grievous fall from the train. It was difficult to reconstruct his personal history since he was not responding to queries in either English or Hindi. Efforts to communicate with him in sign language also did not bear fruit!
The patient was put through the diagnostic protocol recommended for injuries of his kind. The injury seemed relatively minor and he recovered in a fortnight and was ready to be discharged. The only information that could be elicited from him was regarding his name. The young man’s name was ‘Yogesh’ but for all practical purposes he continued to be anonymous with no clue about his whereabouts or his ancestral home.
SAPNA decided to take charge of him and rehabilitated him over a period of time. He was taken to the Old Age Home at Alwar on September 3 and given all the care, love and support needed for healing his inner mindscape. In a few days he began to look more lively! Even though he was given to pacing up and down the long corridors the whole day, he seemed to be responding to the caring ambience of the place.
During the stay at Alwar, Yogesh was able to recollect his father’s name. Even though deciphering his incoherent language was not really possible, he seemed to belong to Maharashtra. We treated each information as vital missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that we were somehow determined to quickly solve. Another clue came our way when after a few days Yogesh seem to suddenly recollect that his hometown was Pune and that he lived in some place called Vishrantwadi. Using connections in the CISF, the Assistant Commandant Incharge of security at Pune Airport C.P. Sahi was requested to find out if such a place existed in Pune. We were told that Vishrantwadi was not a fictional place but was a thriving slum close to the Airport.
The missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle seemed to be falling in place. On the basis of some information and photographs that we sent, we were told that Yogesh’s ‘missing people’s report’ had been found in the ‘Missing Report’ Register at the Vishrantwadi Police Station. Through this report, it was not difficult to locate Yogesh’s house in a basti in Pune. Yogesh’s mother Tarabai was traced in Mumbai and was duly informed about Yogesh’s whereabouts.
Reconstructing Yogesh’s story was now possible. His full name was Yogesh Yashwant Pawar and he was the third child of his parents. His father, Yashwant Pawar was working as a Peon in the Indian Railways and had expired about a year ago. During his childhood Yogesh had met with an accident and suffered a head injury after falling down from a train while travelling from Pune to Mumbai. His memory loss could perhaps be linked to the head injury received during that period. Yogesh had three sisters, all of whom were married and were living in Mumbai. Yogesh was living a sheltered life with his mother in Mumbai.
The current crisis in Yogesh’s life started on August 8 when he accompanied his mother to Pune on her monthly voyage to collect her widow’s pension from a bank at Vishrantwadi. Yogesh seem to have wandered off while she was collecting her pension and somehow boarded a Delhi bound train. His mother, Tarabai, and his sisters desperately searched for him for days to no avail! The local police also launched a search but had to give up after a few days. Heartbroken, his mother Tarabai succumbed to heart related illnesses and underwent an operation at Mumbai.
In a fairytale ending, Yogesh left Alwar on October 8, 2008 for a happy reunion with his family in Mumbai.
We, at ‘SAPNA’, have a reason to smile!