• A mahout, who lived near the family, abducted the girl 
  • The mother did not file a police complaint due to poverty
  • The daughter sought her husband's help to find her family

A 31-year-old woman in India was reunited with her mother, two decades after she was abducted by their neighbor.

The daughter was just nine when the neighbor, a mahout, abducted her and fled to another state. Anjali, the fifth child of Chaitra, met her mother for the first time in 22 years in the Indian state of Karnataka on Tuesday, reported The Hindu.

Chaitra and her family were living in the Chikkamagaluru area when Anjali vanished. Chaitra was a coffee plantation worker, and the family lived near the estate.

According to Chaitra, timber merchants from the neighboring state of Kerala visited her estate often then. They brought with them elephants and mahouts to transport the wooden logs.

"A mahout’s family had camped close to the estate where we were working and children of both the families were playing together. One day, Anjali went missing. I searched for her everywhere, but I could not find her. Someone said she had gone with the mahout’s family. But there was no way we could trace her," Chaitra told The Hindu.

Due to her dire situation and poverty, Chaitra never filed a police complaint.

Anjali was, indeed, with the mahout's family. She traveled with them to Kerala, where she worked as a domestic maid for years. She then married a small-time artist Nellamani Saji.

After her marriage, Anjali told Saji about her childhood and family in the coffee estate. Saji then took it on himself to find Anjali's family. With the help of a few social workers in Chikkamagaluru, Saji began his search for Anjali's family.

"Last week I received a call from my friend in Kozhikode. He told me about Nellamani Saji and his wife Anjali. They sought my help to trace Anjali’s mother," said Monu, a social worker.

Monu managed to trace Chaitra last week. "The information I had gathered from Anjali did match with what Chaitra told me. I took her picture and a video statement and sent them to Anjali on Monday. She immediately responded saying she was her mother," said Monu.

Anjali, Saji and their three children traveled to the estate and met Chaitra in a tearful reunion. "I am happy I met my daughter after all these years," Chaitra, who now lives alone after the death of her husband, told the news outlet.

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