Rajendra Gajera Singh, in his 40s, and a resident of remote Bakshi Chhapra village in Bediya taluka of UP's Ballia district, had left his home one morning, apparently after being mentally disturbed over not getting recruited in the army, sources said.
While his family members did not lodge a missing person complaint with police, Singh was spotted wandering on a road in Bhuj city in Gujarat four years back by a worker of NGO Shri Loksewa Sarvjanik Trust.
The worker took him to the trust premises from where he was admitted to a mental hospital.
The NGO then made attempts to know the whereabouts of Singh and tried getting in touch with police of several districts in UP and Bihar to find out if any missing complaint regarding Singh was lodged there.
Not meeting with success, the NGO tried to elicit more information from Singh about his native place and family, trust's secretary Hemendra Jansari told PTI over phone today.
"After getting some inputs from Singh, we decided to use social media network WhatsApp to reunite him with his family after he told us that he belonged to Bakshi Chhapra village in Ballia," Jansari said.
"We forwarded Singh's picture and a message in Hindi to a group on WhatsApp, active in Ballia district, which had 5,000 followers including some doctors, advocates and local mediapersons," he said, adding that they got to know about the WhatsApp group through some enquiries.
Last month, a local journalist from Ballia, after seeing Rajendra's picture and message on WhatsApp, contacted the Bhuj-based NGO saying Singh was his schoolmate and that he knew his family which was still searching for him.
Soon after this, Singh's wife Kiran spoke to Rajendra over phone to ascertain his identity.
After being convinced, Kiran alongwith Singh's brother reached Bhuj on May 29 and met Rajendra, which incidentally also happened to be wedding anniversary of the couple, who have two daughters, aged 7 and 11 years.
"They were happy and excited over the reunion and left Bhuj last evening to return to their native village," said Jansari.