Tamil Nadu Woman Reunited with Families After Years, Thanks to Ham Radio:

eHam.net News — Visalakshi, 33, of Krishnapuram village in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, had a bed at Barasat State General Hospital for two years, listed as an “unknown” patient because no one in the hospital staff could speak Tamil. Missing from home for three years, Visalakshi was finally reunited with her family on May 29, courtesy amateur radio operators of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. It was ham operators again who helped Rakesh Singh, 34, return home to Chapra in Bihar. Rakesh, an ITI-trained technician, went missing seven years ago while on his way to Kolkata for a job. He forgot his residential address, was picked up from the streets as a vagabond, and was admitted to Diamond Harbour State General Hospital where he remained until he was reunited with his family on May 12, this time thanks to ham operators of Bengal and Bihar. Since February this year, ham operators of Bengal say, they have coordinated with their counterparts in other states to reunite eight missing persons with their families. “Visalakshi was admitted to the hospital on March 19, 2015, when police picked her up as a vagabond. After psychiatric treatment, she improved three or four months ago,” said Subrata Mondol, superintendent of the Barasat hospital. “But we could still not get her name and details because she spoke only Tamil. Then we looked up numbers of ham radio operators from the Internet and called them. Through their help, her village was identified and she returned to her family, which gives us great pleasure and satisfaction.” “We got a call from the hospital saying they have a patient, a missing person,” said Ambarish Nag Biswas, secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club), and an employee of a state-run dairy farm. “The hospital said they could not understand the language. We went there and tried to help.” They broke the language barrier by calling in ham operator P Gopinath, a student at Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology in Shibpur, Bengal. Doctors too brought in interpreters. Other ham operators in the team included schoolteacher Manas Mukherjee and college student Sourav Sadhukhan. Once they got to know where Visalakshi came from, they used the radio to get in touch with Tamil Nadu ham operators and got her to talk to them. Authorities in Chennai were alerted and ham operators too started searching for her home, but they failed to locate her relatives from the address identified.

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