The moment of reunion with a lost loved one is priceless and on Friday, the family of a seven-year-old girl was overjoyed when she returned home safe, a day after she went missing on the beach. Vijayalakshmi Sivakumar (7), a class II student, was on the Marina on Thursday evening to celebrate Kaanum Pongal with her teenage brother Kamatchi Raja, mother Kalaichelvi, aunt Manimekalai and uncle Balasubramanium.
Sea of revellers
Their agony began at 7.15 p.m. when the little girl lost an earring and went searching for it amidst the sea of revellers.
“I saw her searching in the sand but within seconds, she was missing. My mother, aunt, uncle and I looked for her everywhere and later called my father and went to the police station,” recalled Kamatchi Raja, a class XI student.
The girl’s father Sivakumar, an electrician, lodged a child missing complaint with the Anna Square police and a hunt to track the child was under way.
The girl’s mother Kalaichelvi was inconsolable at their house from the time her daughter went missing. “She had not eaten or even drunk a drop of water since Vijayalakshmi went missing. She was crying all night and this morning,” said Manimekalai, her sister.
Around 12.45, a man on a scooter arrived at their doorstep, along with the missing girl.
The family’s joy at seeing the girl was immeasurable and neighbours joined in the celebrations.
“I spotted her standing alone and crying on the beach at night. She couldn’t give me the exact location of her residence but only told me that her house is near the Tiruvottiyur market. After asking around a lot, I was finally able to bring her home,” said the rescuer.
He identified himself as Jani Basha (52), a realtor from Madhavaram.
Vijayalakshmi was one of the 154 children who went missing on the beach on Kaanum Pongal evening on Thursday. Police outposts had been set up in several locations on the beach.
Police rescued the other 153 children but the little girl remained untraced till Friday afternoon.