Saguna Chauhan, 26, left her husband’s place in Karnataka with her four-and-half-year-old son Piyush to reside at Turbhe Store, Navi Mumbai, with her parents and brothers in November last year.
One sunny morning, Piyush was playing outside with four other kids of his age while Saguna was occupied with the household chores. After a few minutes, when she sought out Piyush to feed him breakfast, she realised that he was missing. Saguna and her bothers spent the whole day searching for Piyush, but found no clue to his whereabouts. Finally, they approached the police and filed an FIR. Coincidentally, it was November 14, when the whole nation was celebrating Children’s Day, which emphasises the importance of giving love to children.
“It’s been almost a year since Piyush went missing, but despite all our efforts, we have not been able to find him. We gave his photograph and details to police officers who investigated the case.
We also put up his photograph in all railway stations, bus depots and other public places, expecting a call that would lead to his return. But we weren’t lucky enough to get such a call,” said Shanta Rathod, Saguna’s mother.
“We don’t know if Piyush is dead or alive now,” Shanta said.
In the absence of her child, Saguna developed psychological disorders and is now undergoing treatment in Karnataka. “We visited all the police stations, remand homes and orphanages in Karjat, Kalyan, Panvel, Thane and even Pune, but didn’t find him. When we kept visiting the police station after two months, officers said to us, “If you can give birth to countless children, you should also learn to take care of them.”
“Exasperated, we stopped chasing the case after four months. We are not educated enough to go to the higher-ups and neither have enough money to pay investigating officers,” she said. The family believes Piyush was kidnapped by a neighbour when he was out playing.