TikTok helps reunite missing man with his family after two years

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

28th May, 2020. 12:16 pm
Missing man

Video-streaming platform TikTok succeeded in reuniting a missing man with his family after two years.

According to the details, R Venkateshwarlu, the missing man, was seen in the video filmed under a flyover 2,000km away from his home in Telangana.

Later, a friend after watching the video alerted the family and reached out to police to help reunite them.

How did he go missing?

R Venkateshwarlu, who has hearing and speech difficulties, has a wife and five children and was employed as a labourer.

In April 2018, he boarded a truck to go to another village for work.

“My father fell asleep and the truck driver didn’t know he was there. Several kilometres later, the driver realised my father was in the truck and so he dropped him off on the middle of the road and left him there,” his son, R Peddiraju, told.

Mr Venkateshwarlu who was alone on an unfamiliar road eventually found another truck willing to give him a ride. But hours later, he realized the vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction.

That driver dropped Venkateshwarlu off in Ludhiana, a large industrial city in the northern state of Punjab.

Mr Peddiraju said that they had tried to find him with the help of local police but had been unable to do so.

How was he found?

Since India had an imposed lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Punjab police constable Ajaib Singh had been going around Ludhiana to donate food to migrant workers and the poor.

Ajaib Singh’s TikTok channel features videos of charitable acts during the lockdown. He has more than 800,000 followers.

In one of his videos uploaded in March, Mr Singh is seen distributing food to people living under a flyover in Ludhiana.

Thousands of kilometres away in Telangana, a friend of Mr Peddiraju watching the video thought he recognized Mr Venkateshwarlu in it and alerted his family.

They got in touch with the Ludhiana police who then tracked down Mr Venkateshwarlu and facilitated a video call between him and his son.

“We both burst into tears when we first saw each other. He asked me to come and take him home,” his son said.

“But we couldn’t wait that long to see him so we managed to get a permit that would allow me to travel across states,” Peddiraju said.

Within a week, Peddiraju was in Ludhiana with his father, who had been in police care.

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