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

The Hindu - - NATION - Rahul Kar­makar

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.

Ac­ci­den­tal view­ing

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.


Khom­dram Gamb­hir.

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