Tamil movie restores lost son to family

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Such scripts are written only for Kollywood. Believe it or not, critically acclaimed movie Vazhakku Enn 18/9, telecast on a TV channel as a Vinayaga Chaturdhi special, stunned a Tiruppur family as the kid acting as the heroine’s retarded neighbour turned out to be their mentally challenged boy missing for six years.

Knitwear mill worker Loganathan and wife Manjula rushed to Chennai and traced the movie’s director Balaji Sakthivel, who led them to a government home for mentally challenged kids, where the tearful reunion happened on Thursday.

“Anbu is leaving our home now, restored to his parents who brought his childhood pictures, birth certificate and the ration card to prove he is their child”, state child welfare committee (CWC) chairperson Agnes Shanthi said.

The boy, now 12, had been living at the government Balavihar home in Egmore since 2006 after volunteers found him crying at some Chennai roadside.

The family was on a holiday in Chennai and the kid strayed away. After a fruitless search, they returned broken-hearted.

“He was barely six and mentally retarded. The fear that he might have been picked up by some beggars’ mafia traumatised us. Pillaiyar on his birthday (Chaturdi) brought our kid’s film before our eyes.

Our daughter Kavitha is taking big efforts to welcome her kid brother”, Loganathan told DC. He said he would try to admit Anbu in a school for special kids and ensure his happiness.

CWC member Sheila Charles is doubly happy because she was on the censor panel that had cleared Vazhakku Enn 18/9.

“Anbu’s was a touching role in the film. I felt it would inspire positive response from the audience but never imagined it would reunite the kid with his family”, she said.

Film director Balaji said he felt as if he had received an Oscar when the parents approached him for help to locate Anbu. Over 500 children are rescued by the CWC in a year and about half of them get restored to families.

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