BHUBANESWAR: In 2000, Benudhar Pardhan left his Arakhapatna home in Cuttack’s Athagarh. He was unhappy with the food, had a fight after which he took a train and headed to an unknown destination. Nine years later, his family learnt that he had landed in a jail in Pakistan. Though he was released by the Pakistani authorities and sent back to India on February 16, his family had no clue, till the Family News Service of Red Cross came with help.
Benudhar had been sent back to India along with four others but after they crossed the border at Wagha, there was none to take them back home. It was then that the Amritsar local administration took help of the Red Cross and gave them shelter.
According to Odisha State Branch Secretary of Red Cross Dr. Mangala Charan Mohanty, when the matter came to their notice, he coordinated with the Amritsar counterparts and arranged for reunification of Benudhar with his family.
Since the Red Cross has a Family News Service which helps reuniting missing persons with their families across the globe, it came handy. Benudhar’s mother Basanti, brother Nalu and a neighbour Qurban Khan travelled all the way to Amritsar on March 22 and brought the youth home.