KARACHI: The Edhi bus, which left the port city for upcountry destinations to reunite 51 children with their families, returned empty on Tuesday night.
While 41 children managed to find their families, the remaining children were not so lucky. They have been given accomodation at Edhi centres in the cities they belonged to. Edhi Foundation spokesperson Anwar Kazmi was hopeful that they would be able to locate their families soon. “Families of some children could not be traced but we are optimistic we will find them before Eid.”
He further said that the 10 children belonged to Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and Rawalpindi.
The bus had left Karachi amid much fanfare on July 12 and travelled through 14 cities, making its first stop at Hyderabad. The children, aged between seven and 15, were mostly those who had been separated from their families at a very young age and had been living in Edhi centres in Karachi for the past several years. “Most of them were those who had run away from their homes,” said Kazmi.
Kazmi told The Express Tribune that most families were found via on-the-spot search and general announcements in the local mosques. He appreciated the media coverage and said that some did contact them beforehand. “One family in Multan called us up to inquire about a boy who had gone missing four years ago,” he said. “They were ecstatic when I told them that he was on the bus.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.