Tania Akter went missing from Dhaka since she was eight years old
Tania Akter, who went missing from Dhaka as an eight-year-old about 17 years ago, has finally been able to reunite with her parents through the magic of the social media platform Facebook.
The tale begins in 2004, when Tania visited Dhaka with her father, transport worker Md Shundor Ali. The family lived at Paschimpara in Kotalipara upazila of Gopalganj, and they stayed at Tania’s aunt’s home in Agargaon while in the capital.
One day, Tania left the house without informing anyone so that she could explore Dhaka. She soon found that she could not find her way back home in the bustling city.
Eventually, Tania managed to locate the school where her cousin was studying, but the gatekeeper denied her entry. Completely lost, she wandered through the streets of the capital and ended up at a shop near the parliament area.
Tania stayed at the shop for hours, watching a television that was there. When day rolled into night, she began crying.
A man realized the plight of the child and took her to his home. He tried hard to locate Tania’s aunt, but failed to do so.
"At one stage, Arjuda Khatun and her son Ripon, who lived in Kalabagan, took me to their house. From then, I started living at that house and began calling Ripon my father. They took good care of me and eventually married me off," Tania said.
Ripon is a resident of Raytola village under Kasba upazila in Brahmanbaria.
Tania's husband Anwar Hossain, from Shantinagar in Akhaura, Brahmanbaria, said he was acquainted with Ripon and married Tania knowing everything that had happened to her.
"Tania often talked about losing her parents. At one stage, one of my friends and I wrote about it on Facebook and posted her picture. After learning about the matter, Tania's parents rushed to Akhaura on January 9," he said.
Tania's father Shundor Ali told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday that a neighbour named Ruma informed them about the Facebook post.
"We found the address and came here. I never thought I would get back my daughter in this way," said the father.
Tania's younger sister Sonia Khanam said she had been terribly upset about losing her sister and often wondered what had happened.
"I thought I would never get my sister back, but my mother was always hopeful. We are really happy now," Sonia added.
Tania, now a mother of two children, has already left for Gopalganj to reunite with her parents and sister after 17 long years.