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Search for 2-year-old Nisha
Sat, Jun 12, 2010
New Straits Times

TEMERLOH, Malaysia: It is every parents' worst nightmare to lose a child and for G. Chandramohan, 24, and his wife, Wong Lai Lan, 21, they are living in one after their daughter Nisha, 2, went missing on June 4 after being taken out for a walk by a relative.

Although J. Balasaraswaty, 54, was eventually found wandering alone in Taman Bukit Bendera, Mentakab, she was unable to reveal the child's whereabouts.

An exhausting search by police and a K-9 team, together with other family members, over the next few days failed to turn up any clue.

As days passed and no information was forthcoming about Nisha's whereabouts, the young parents' despair grew after the police search was called off.

While the family members are continuing the search on their own, their efforts are severely limited by manpower and resources.

Their hopes were revived recently when their plight came to the attention of RHB Banking Group. Since Thursday, the staff of RHB Bank's Mentakab branch have distributed 1,000 missing person's posters bearing Nisha's cherubic face and contact details in Mentakab and here.

They also plan to expand the area of distribution to include Bentong and Karak.

When met at her home yesterday, Wong broke down in tears as she spoke of her fears for Nisha's health as the toddler is asthmatic and can barely walk due to weakened muscles in her right arm and leg.

"Nisha's seizures can only be controlled with daily medication. She has not had the medication for a week now and I worry that it will affect her weakened muscles.

"Since her disappearance, my husband, his three brothers and our relatives have been searching for her daily. We also went door-to-door with her photo in the hope that someone had seen her," said Wong, who has taken an indefinite leave from her job as a clerk at a factory in Songsang near here.

Recounting the day of Nisha's disappearance, Wong, who also took care of her aunt Balasaraswaty and grandmother S. Parwathi, 71, said she had never allowed her aunt to take her daughter out of the house.

"My husband and I were at work when my aunt took Nisha out. At the time, my grandmother was also in the kitchen preparing food. I only found out that they were missing when I got back from work at 6pm.

"We searched for them and found Balasaraswaty wandering in the housing area about 10pm. However, she is mentally unwell and could not remember what happened. She has since refused to talk to anyone at all.

"We search in Mentakab and Temerloh and we have even distributed flyers with Nisha's picture but we just don't have enough resources " she said, adding that they also sought the services of spiritual healers to find Nisha, but without much success.

Meanwhile, RHB group corporate communications senior general manager Mastura Adnan, who visited the couple at their home yesterday, said the bank's participation in the search was part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme called Missing Children -- Reuniting Families.

She said the programme provided an alternative channel of communication for the authorities and the families to locate the missing child with help from the public.

Besides the flyers, the group also took out advertisements with Harian Metro and China Press yesterday to expand their search for Nisha.

She said the group would also put up more posters at their five branches in Pahang and flash Nisha's face on the screens of the bank's automated teller machines.

"We will do what we can to locate the child and reunite her with her family. We hope members of the public who saw the toddler will contact the authorities."

Lanchang state assemblyman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin also pledged to get more volunteers to help in the search.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Ahmed Fadzilah Mohamed said they had to call off the search as they did not have any clue about the girl's location.

"We've conducted extensive search within the neighbourhood and the nearby swamp using sniffer dogs."

Those with information can call 999, contact the nearest police station or call Chandramohan at 016-9353400.

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