Ham radio helps tribal woman return to native village after a decade
Kolkata: The West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC) - an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts in the state, has been instrumental in sending a tribal woman from Jharkhand to her native village.
The lady had been estranged from her family for at least ten years and was languishing at Behala Vidyasagar Hospital for more than 45 days.
"I received a call a few days ago from the superintendent of Vidyasagar State General Hospital, seeking our assistance in uniting a tribal woman with her family. They informed us that all their efforts to understand the language of the woman have gone in vain and so they have been unable to ascertain her identity," said Amabarish Nag Biswas, secretary of WBRC.
The lady was admitted at the hospital by Behala police in sick condition around 50 days ago. She was unable to walk and was suffering from a number of ailments. When she recovered after treatment for around 20 days, the hospital staff asked her about her identity and she spoke for at least five minutes in a language that could not be understood.
Informed about the language barrier, a team from WBRC went to the hospital and recorded her speech. It was then circulated among the hams working in the tribal areas of Bengal and also in the tribal belt of the neighbouring Jharkhand and Bihar.
Some days ago, a ham named Soumik Das working at Katrashgarh in Dhanbad passed on the information that tribals from village Araju, about 40 km from Jaridih police station area, speak a language similar to the lady.
Soumik, along with his team, went to the village and showed the photograph of the woman. They were informed that the woman had gone missing 10-12 years ago and everybody in the village believed that she had died. Her husband and one son had died in the village itself. One of her sons and her daughter, who were staying in the village, had also gone untraced a few years ago. However, the village mukhiya and other villagers informed the team that they would be happy to welcome her back into the village.
"We contacted the Superintendent of Police of Bokaro Steel City, under whose jurisdiction the village area falls and sought his help. We also informed him that the villagers had assured us that they would take care of the lady. He was kind enough to send a police team along with a written document that they would take responsibility of rehabilitating the woman. The woman, along with the police team, left the city on Sunday night after completing the formalities at the hospital," said Subir Datta, president of WBRC.