NOIDA: Two young sisters from the Birhor indigenous community in Pahadpur village, Ranchi, have been left alone at home for over 27 days after their parents went missing.
The parents, a 30-year-old man and his wife, left home on September 1 with their youngest child. They have not returned since.
The sisters, aged 5 and 3, are too young to walk to the village on their own, which is 20-25 kilometers away. They also do not have a mobile phone or any other means of communication to inform the police.
The villagers in Birhor Basti have not considered it necessary to inform the police about their disappearance.
The sisters are currently worried about how to feed themselves and how to access other essential items, such as clothes, toothpaste, soap, books, copies, and pencils.
Local villagers have various suspicions about the disappearance of the parents. Some believe that they may have been caught by forest department officials for plucking leaves and datun (a traditional teeth-cleaning twig) from the jungle, and handed over to the police. Others believe that they may have been traveling without tickets to Ranchi from Kitah station and sent to jail for not paying a fine. Still others believe that they may have met with an accident or died, or that they left the village in search of employment.
The Railways has ordered an investigation into the matter, and the local police have said that they have initiated an investigation as well. They are making efforts to immediately provide necessary assistance to the sisters.
The villagers in Birhor Basti have been criticized for not informing the police about the disappearance of their neighbors sooner. However, it is important to understand that many indigenous communities have a different relationship with the police than the majority population. They may be hesitant to report crimes to the police due to fear of discrimination or mistreatment.
(This story was originally published in Navbharat Times)

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