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Lost Canadian reunited with Punjabi family

Mar 24, 2011 7:01 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Rader Sherma, left, poses for a picture with Amir “Rock” Shahzad, manager of the Greenport Mobil station where he found refuge and was reunited with his family. Photo by David Lee of the Register-Star."][/caption]Andrew Amelinckx of the Register-Star has an update on the heart-wrenching story of the Canadian man found homeless in Greenport by a local pastor, wherein the family he hasn't seen since May, 2007 was reunited with him on March 24. He is now on his way back home to Abbotsford, British Columbia, just outside Vancouver. Rader Sharma, 49, who is originally from Punjab, India and speaks very little English, disappeared from the Abbotsford area almost four years ago. According to Amelinckx, Sharma said his journey began when he got on a Greyhound bus thinking he was heading to a nearby town “to go to the market” and ended up in New York City, where his identification was stolen and he ended up living on the streets. "Sharma apparently ended up in Columbia County after making his way north via train and walking from Dutchess County," the story goes. Pastor John Ogden, who is also originally from Canada, "first saw Sharma walking on Route 9 Sunday, but didn’t pay him much heed... But the next morning he again saw Sharma on Route 9H while he was driving his daughter to school. 'She said I should help him,' Ogden recalled, adding that on his way back home to Claverack that morning “God spoke to” him and he went looking for the man. He found Sharma on Fish and Game Road in Greenport." Ogden took Sharma to the manager of a Mobil gas station and Subway restaurant located at 505 Fairview Ave. in Greenport. The store owner. originally from the Punjab region of Pakistan, was able to communicate with Sharma and got a phone number with which he was able to get in touch with the man’s family. Sharma’s two nephews flew from British Columbia to Toronto, rented a car and drove down to Columbia County to get their uncle. “His mother will be especially happy,” said Sharma’s other nephew Pardeep Agnihotri, explaining how the woman had been sick recently and told him that her one wish was to see her son before she passed away (she has since recovered from her illness). “I’ve had some troubles in my life so I wanted to help him,” said Ahmad "Rock" Shahzad of helping the homeless man in his 40s. “Anyone who sees someone like this who needs help should give it to them.”