17-year-old girl, feared dead in 2013 Kedarnath deluge, returns; family says it is 'nothing short of a miracle'

Chanchal had gone to Kedarnath on a pilgrimage with her parents when the tragedy struck, sweeping away her father, while her mother returned home after some time. Chanchal, then 12, was feared dead but some good samaritans handed her over to an orphanage in Jammu.

Press Trust of India December 26, 2018 09:50:39 IST
17-year-old girl, feared dead in 2013 Kedarnath deluge, returns; family says it is 'nothing short of a miracle'

Aligarh: In a fairytale ending of a real-life story, a 17-year-old mentally challenged girl, who had gone missing in Kedarnath during the 2013 deluge, has been reunited with her family in Aligarh after five years.

17yearold girl feared dead in 2013 Kedarnath deluge returns family says it is nothing short of a miracle

Kedarnath shrine, one of the holiest of Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, was left in a shambles after heavy rains in Uttarakhand in 2013. It was reopened in 2014. PTI

Elated over the return of their long-lost grand-daughter Chanchal, her grandparents Harish Chand and Shakuntla Devi, residents of Bannadevi locality in Aligarh, said, "This reunion is nothing short of a miracle."

Chanchal had gone to Kedarnath on a pilgrimage with her parents when the tragedy struck, sweeping away her father, while her mother returned home after some time, Harish Chand told media persons on Monday. Chanchal, then 12, was feared dead but some good samaritans handed her over to an orphanage in Jammu, said director Gyanendra Mishra of an NGO named Childline Aligarh, which assisted with bringing her home.

For the last few months, the orphanage management had been observing that the girl often tried to communicate something about Aligarh city through her limited verbal skills, Mishra said. They somehow got in touch with the Aligarh city legislator Sanjiv Raja who then took Mishra's assistance. Mishra, in turn, managed to identify the family of the lost girl with the help of police, and restored her to it.

Chanchal still misses her long-lost father Rajesh and keeps remembering him, Harish Chand said.

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