YouTube helps trace Manipur man lost for 40 years
Family chances upon a video uploaded last year of him singing and begging on the streets of Mumbai
A video uploaded on YouTube by a Mumbaibased street photographer has helped a family in Manipur’s capital Imphal locate a member who had disappeared 40 years ago.
Khomdram Kulachandra, a daily wager, is scheduled to fly to Mumbai on Tuesday to bring back his elder brother Khomdram Gambhir. A couple of Manipur police officers will accompany him.
“We have been coordinating with our counterparts in Bandra West area of Mumbai since Mr. Gambhir’s identity was established. Our team should be able to reunite him with his family here within two to three days,” Themthing Ngashangva, senior superintendent of police of Imphal West district, told The Hindu on Monday.
Mr. Gambhir, members of his family said, had retired voluntarily after serving in Manipur Rifles for seven years. He was believed to have gone into depression after a disastrous marriage.
Mr. Kulachandra said his brother, the eldest of six siblings, left home in Imphal’s Khumbom Mamang locality in 1978. He was believed to have surfaced in Mizoram a year later, but a search had proved futile.
A Mumbai-based photographer named Feroze had uploaded a video on Gambhir on October 17 last year. An assistant professor of North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology in Arunachal Pradesh saw the video accidentally while browsing through YouTube a few days ago.
“He informed one of our friends about the video, featuring a person in his mid-sixties with Manipuri features singing and begging on the streets of Mumbai. The video, circulated through social media, reached his family two days ago,” Atom Samarendra, a Central government employee, said.
“I could not believe my eyes when one of my nephews showed me the video footage. We had lost all hope of seeing him alive again,” Mr. Kulachandra said.
Mr. Samarendra said the locals raised money for Mr. Kulachandra’s flight to Mumbai to bring back his brother.