Two decades ago, a failing business and huge debt burden led a helpless Mahaveer Singh Chauhan to leave his home in despair. Twenty years later, destiny helps him reunite with his loved ones, all thanks to WhatsApp, reports The Times of India.
He left home in 1998
In the recent past, WhatsApp has made headlines in India for all the wrong reasons, mostly in connection to the fake news menace. However, Mahaveer Singh Chauhan’s story is evidence of one of the many positive sides of social media, which are overshadowed by its cons more than often.
Mahaveer Singh Chauhan, now a 48-year-old man, originally hails from a village named Jhab in Jalore, Rajasthan. In December 1998, he was running a business in Mumbai where he incurred heavy losses. Ashamed, he decided to abandon his family, when his two sons Pradyuman and Raghupal were only four and one-year-old respectively. Severing all ties, he moved to Bengaluru and has been working there as a supervisor in a rose farm in Doddaballapura. His family filed a missing person’s diary and kept on searching for him for more than five years.
He was hospitalised after getting unconscious
On Saturday, January 5, Mahaveer’s friends Ravi and Kishore Kumar Daftary found him lying unconscious inside the farm. Immediately, they took him to the local hospital where the doctors suspected a possible spinal injury. Later he was referred to Nimhans hospital as the treatment was quite critical.
Worried about Mahaveer’s serious injury, his friends decided it right to inform his family. However, both of them knew little about his family as he hardly mentioned about them. “What I got to know from him all these years was that he was married and had two children and that his father (Ganpat Singh Chauhan) was a man of stature,” Daftary revealed to The Times Of India. Incidentally, Daftary is a photographer from Rajasthan, working in Bengaluru.
Circulating his photo on WhatsApp
As a desperate measure in time of need, the two friends decided to circulate Mahaveer’s photograph on WhatsApp groups, adding all the details they knew about him. They also shared around a picture of his driving licence, which bore the name of his native village Jhab.
Mahaveer’s son got in touch
At around 4 PM on January 5, Daftary started sharing the picture and message on WhatsApp addressing people from Rajasthan, and within two hours his phone was flooded with calls and inquiry texts. Soon, Daftary received a call from a certain young man from Jhab who claimed himself to be Pradyuman, Mahaveer’s son. He promised to arrive at the hospital the very next morning by an early morning flight.
The next morning, Nimhans hospital premises was flooded with hundreds of Rajasthanis residing in Bengaluru, who came to witness the reunion. When Pradyuman touched his father’s feet around 11 AM, Mahaveer’s tears knew no bounds. “I’m free of all my guilt today; take me back to the land where I belong,” he said.
Pradyuman, overwhelmed by happiness, asserted that it was unbelievable for the whole family, even though his mother always firmly believed that their father would return someday.
At present, Mahaveer is being treated at Apollo Hospital in Jayanagar and would be escorted back to Rajasthan once he is discharged.
He followed his family on social media
Speaking about Mahaveer, his friend Govardhan Giri revealed that Mahaveer is well-versed in as many as eight languages including Kannada and Marathi. In the span of his 20 years of stay in Bengaluru, he has worked as a chauffeur, gardener, photographer, salesman and finally a supervisor. Giri also added that over the last three years, Mahaveer was expressing his emotional bond towards his family. “He had a social media account under a pseudonym and closely followed his sons. He sometimes expressed his desire to see his family,” he said.