Kendrapara: A man, presumed dead by his family, has returned home almost after 18 years in Odisha's Kendrapara.
34-year-old Sanatan Mallick of Ainipada village under Pattamundai police station jurisdiction returned home recently. He went missing at the age of 16.
The Dalit boy had migrated to Paradip port township in 1994 to earn a living and worked in an eatery. But a year after, he left Paradip and remained untraceable.
"We had taken it for granted that Sanatan is no more. But his memory was haunting me. I was overjoyed to find him alive," recounted Sanatan's mother - Chaila Mallick.
"Poverty had forced me to move to Paradip. My earning was meagre. I was washing utensils at a roadside eatery. I could save little to send to my poor parents. So I decided to travel to Kolkata for better earning," recalled Sanatan.
"Since past 16 years, I am earning my bread and butter hawking eatable items at Howrah station. I sold food and other items on platforms and in trains. I had registered myself as a hawker in Howrah," he said.
Eking out a living, Sanatan fell in love with a girl living in a slum near the railway station. They got married later and now they have a 4-year-old son.