Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS) TikTok may have been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times, but the video-sharing social networking service has helped reunite a hearing- and speech-impaired Telangana man with his family after two years.
The happy reunion came about through one of the many video clips shared on TikTok to highlight food distribution among the needy during the lockdown in Punjab.
Roddam Venkateshwarlu, a resident of Bhadradri Kothagudem district, had gone missing in 2018 and his family had given up hopes of finding him.
However, R. Peddiraju and his siblings could not believe their eyes when they saw their missing father in a TikTok video shot shared by a policeman hundreds of kilometres away in Ludhiana three days ago.
In the video, made by a Punjab Police Head Constable police as part of the social service work to distribute food among beggars and people living on the streets, two men were seen handing out a food packet to Venkateshwarlu who was walking with the help of a zimmer frame.
When they asked him something, he conveyed with sign language that he can’t hear and speak. They then greeted him with folded hands.
Peddiraju approached his state’s police, who got in touch with their Punjab counterparts and after confirming that the man featured in the video is Venkateshwarlu issued the former a movement pass to travel down to Ludhiana in a car on Saturday.
“I was so happy to meet my father after such a long time. It was painful to see him begging on the roads, but thank God we finally found him,” Peddiraju told IANS on Sunday while returning home with his father.
Peddiraju, an M.Sc in organic chemistry looking for a job, said his father had gone missing on April 27, 2018, when he left the house in search of daily-wage job.
The family lodged a police complaint but gave up hope after a futile search.
“It looks like in an inebriated condition he boarded a truck and found himself in another state,” said Peddiraju, who has three brothers and two sisters.
He thanked Punjab Police for helping them reunite with their father.
“He has an injury on his leg and is unable to walk properly. After reaching home and lifting of the lockdown we will take him to a doctor,” said Peddiraju.