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Indian Activist Re-Unites Differently Abled Youth With Kin in Bangladesh

Liton Bhumij’s family in Bangladesh had begun to lose hope of finding their 25-year-old autistic son. He accidentally walked into Indian territory in Assam in 2017. Thereon, there was little left to do but ask around.

However, fate had planned otherwise. Activist Sujan Debroy, based in Assma’s Cachar district, saw Liton’s photo on Facebook posts from likeminded peers in Bangladesh. “I was alerted since the incident occurred in this region. One day (in 2018), some people came to me reporting a lad walking around the tea gardens. I do not remember the exact date but something told me help was needed. I asked Liton about his home but he was unable to provide details. I took him home and thereon started the search,” shared Debroy, adding that Liton’s Bengali dialect was a hint that he was from Bangladesh.

In his bid to re-unite Liton, Debroy exhausted all search engines. “I sent his pictures to all my connects in Bangladesh. We started receiving input on possible family linkages till we could narrow down to his real home. Then, in 2019, we managed a video call with his family and everything was in order till the pandemic came. The paperwork was hit and finally Liton was sent home on Wednesday,” recounted the activist.

Since Liton is autistic, he did not want to leave Debroy. “There was a sense of security for him. We miss him too. But we are happy that he is with his own,” elaborated Debroy.

The meet took place at no-man’s land near Sutarkandi village on the Bangladesh side. Liton’s teary-eyed mother, Reena, and brother, Milon, identified, with security forces to officiate over the process, before final deportation. “My son is different. We had lost hope. I wish well for all those who looked after him,” she told us, reported Debroy

When asked how does it feel to have played such a crucial role in the entire episode, Debroy stated: “Like Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Social media is a powerful tool and glad that effort from a whole bunch of us could help out that poor family.” A video of Liton’s reunion went viral on social media. He recognised his mother but did not call her Maa and instead addressed her as his mother-in-law. He referred to his brother as a friend. The family is seen laughing over the matter.

Alls well that ends all!!