Aizawl: After 39 years of intense search, and even “death” rumours, many people would have given up hope, but a non-resident Indian (NRI) woman in the US — Jyothi Edla Rudrapathi — never gave up on her long-lost sister, Kamala, who went missing after she got married to a Mizo CRPF jawan and moved to the remote Northeastern state of Mizoram in 1980.
The determined sister’s toil finally bore fruit when she was miraculously ‘reunited’ with Kamala recently, thanks to Facebook.
Never discouraged by the useless search and the news of her sister’s death, Rudrapathi thought of making one more attempt to find her lost sister.
Hoping against hope that she would find a way out, Rudrapathi, who originally hailed from Telangana, posted a request on a widely used Facebook group called ‘Mizoram News (in English)‘ on Monday, asking help from members to find her sister, who she believe was still alive and living in Mizoram.
Rudrapathi attached a four-decade-old photo of her sister Kamala with her husband, who was known by the name ‘Hmingliana’ in CRPF camps, with her post. Rudrapathi, who was only five years old at that time, was also seen in the photo sitting on Hmingliana’s lap.
The post was widely shared on social media and within two hours of it, generous people helped Rudrapathi find her long-lost sister.
Speaking with EastMojo over phone from the US, Rudrapathi said her brother-in-law Hmingliana, who hailed from Mizoram’s Sialsuk village, married her sister Kamala when he (Hmingliana) was posted as a CRPF jawan in Andra Pradesh (now Telangana) in 1980.
They lost contact when the family moved to Mizoram.
She said that they have been searching for them for the last 38 years and ran pillar to post but to no avail.
According to Rudrapathi, they even tried to contact the family through retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who is currently the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, when she was posted as Deputy Inspector General (Range) of Mizoram in early 1990s.
However, Bedi was transferred to New Delhi in 1993 before she could do anything.
Kamala’s parents, Edla Joseph and Edla Karunamma, then rushed to a nearby CRPF camp, where they were told that their son-in-law was no more in the service. This put the family in a more difficult situation to trace their lost daughter.
Rudrapathi said that a CRPF jawan from Mizoram came to Telangana in the later part of 2013, who told the family that Kamala had died in that year. “Despite the news about my sister’s demise, I kept the belief alive in my heart that one day I will meet my sister and her children. I finally did that and now our joy knows no bounds,” the jolly woman said.
She said that they have spoken to Kamala and all the family members broke down into tears. “This is a wonderful time for our family. Now our siblings have risen from five to six again. My mother, who is now 86, is the happiest mother right now,” she said.
Rudrapathi is currently living in the US with her two children and husband, who is a pastor. Her father Joseph died in 2010.
Rudrapathi said that the family would soon organise a grand reunion. “We are highly indebted to the Mizos for their kindness and helps. You guys were amazing. After all we are part of Mizo community,” she said.
Kamala told this correspondent that her husband, whose actual name was Lallianzara, a resident of Lawipui on the outskirts of Aizawl, joined the CRPF in 1970s. They married in 1980 and had four children, the eldest of whom died during infancy. All the other children are now married.
The family had to live hand to mouth after Lallianzara left his service without formal retirement. He died in 2013 due to cancer.
Kamala said she conversed with her family in Hindi as she was no more fluent in her mother tongue. “I am very happy to have verbal contact with my family after more than 40 years. But could not shed tears as I have a lion’s heart because I am more or less a Mizo now,” she said with a smile.
Kamala lives with her only son, Zorammawia, in Lawipui.
Zorammawia said he had made several attempts to find out his grandparents but could not do so due to financial constraints.