A Pakistani woman is looking for her brother, who got lost in the 1947 India-Pakistan partition and was adopted by a family in India. The story of Sharifa Bibi was shared by journalist Lauren Frayer on Twitter, who asked netizens to help the woman reunite with her brother Mohammad Tufail.
The boy was adopted by Delhi's wealthy Hindu family and travelled to Pakistan once in the 1990s to search for his birth family. However, they couldn't meet, and Sharifa Bibi has been searching for him since News18 reported.
"This is Sharifa Bibi in Burewala, Pakistan. In 1947, she lost her brother Mohammed Tufail in the turmoil of Partition. He was seven. He was spotted sleeping at a rail station and eventually adopted by a family in India. 75 years later, @NPR is trying to find him. Can u help?," the journalist wrote on Twitter.
"In 1947, in the chaos of Partition, families were ripped apart. Mohammed Tufail's parents and sisters ended up in the new nation of Pakistan. But their seven-year-old son ended up in India alone. He was adopted by a wealthy childless Hindu couple and moved to Delhi," she added.
According to Bibi, Tufail's adoptive family had changed his name to Arjun or Ranjit. He loved horses and grew up to become a veterinarian at the Delhi Race Club.
"Later, he lived in Chandni Chowk. A dhaba called Pehlewan was his favorite. He was a regular. We know this because sometime in the early 1990s, Mohammed/Arjun went back to Pakistan to try to find his sisters. But in a tragic case of crossed paths, they missed each other," Frayer tweeted.
She added that when Mohammed/Arjun arrived in Pakistan, he was clean-shaven, wore a shalwar kameez and had a distinctive mark on the side of his head. He told locals he would sneak across the border from India, with the help of a smuggler in the Punjabi town of Kasur.
Tufail couldn't meet Sharifa Bibi as she was travelling and rumours about his arrival had spread through Pakistani villages. He had no phone number to leave behind.
"Our info is incomplete. Some details may be wrong, faded or lost by memory, time and translation. But if anyone knows a Mohammed Tufail/Arjun Singh or his spouse, children, or grandchildren, please tell them Sharifa Bibi is waiting," Frayer wrote.
Recent Such Reunions
The past few months have seen many instances of tearful reunions with members of divided families from either side of Pakistan and India meeting after decades of enforced separation, according to Scroll.
These reunions have involved families not only across Punjab, but also Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and other states of the country. The visa-free Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab that re-opened in November last year after being closed for over a year-and-a-half has helped catalyse several recent meetings.