Millennium Post

After 50 long years, IAS officer's initiatives help elderly woman reunite with family

Kolkata: Distance between Punjab and Nagaland is roughly around 2,825 km and it takes not more than 50 hours to cover the distance by road in the 21st Century. But it has become possible for 65-year-old Anita to go back to her native place in Nagaland and get united with her family members only after nearly 50-long-years.
The messiah, who helped her to get united with her near and dear ones after five decades is IAS officer Dr Preeti Goyal, who is at present the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), Arambagh in Hooghly district of Bengal.
It was back in 1967 when Anita got married to army personnel Vakeel Chand Singh, who was then posted in Nagaland.
Leaving her native place and all her family members, Anita had to come to Punjab in 1971. It had never become possible for Anita to go back to her native place in so many years in the past. Despite strong feelings and emotions for her family members in Nagaland, Anita could hardly recollect the address and other details of her native place after so many years. But she always longed for the moment when she could once again touch the soil of the place where she was born and spent her childhood.
This was closely noticed by Dr Goyal, the IAS officer of the Bengal cadre, as she was her neighbour at Lehragaga village in Sangrur district in Punjab. After coming to Bengal in 2014, she initiated the search for Anita's family members in Nagaland.
It was a fight of two-long years for Dr Goyal to find out Anita's family members in Nagaland besides continuing with all her administrative work as an SDO of an important place like Arambagh.
Despite failing in her initial attempts, she did not give up hope and continued searching for the identification related documents from concerned civic bodies, departments and also took help of the police.
Leaving no stone unturned, she also contacted her batchmates in Nagaland and the work to get details of Anita's family members there continued.
After constant efforts for the past two years, the difficult task of finding them out on the basis of their tribe was possible.
Anita herself even failed to explain in words the first 15 minutes when someone handed her over a phone with his brother speaking from Nagaland when she was in Punjab. She couldn't stop crying for the first 15 minutes and it was the same for her family members in Nagaland.
Recently, she went back to her native place leaving all her blessings for Dr Goyal for such a noble work and expressed her happiness after getting united with her brother, nephew and niece after 50 long years.

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