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Runaway boys and good Samaritans

Runaway boys and good Samaritans

A 12-year-old Bengaluru boy, Parinav, was in the news recently after he went missing from a coaching centre. He was apparently disturbed over some issue related to his studies. - File photo



NJ Ravi Chander

A 12-year-old Bengaluru boy, Parinav, was in the news recently after he went missing from a coaching centre. He was apparently disturbed over some issue related to his studies. Enquiries made by his parents with friends and relatives proved futile, following which they took to social media to seek help in finding him. They made an online request and shared CCTV footage that showed the boy crossing a road.

The police found that Parinav had taken a state-run bus from near the coaching centre. The footage also showed him walking along the sidewalk near the city railway station. Since he had no money, he reportedly sold off his Parker pens.

Starting from Bengaluru, he went to Mysuru and then passed through Chennai. The boy landed in Nampally, Hyderabad, but was desperate to return home. A woman spotted him at a railway station and alerted his parents. The Bengaluru police presented the boy before the child welfare committee of Telangana before taking him back home. Thanks to the good Samaritan, the boy was reunited with his family.

The story reminded me of a misadventure of my former bank colleague when he was a child. Six decades ago, he fled from home after an altercation with his father. Penniless, he reached the cantonment railway station.

Eventually, he boarded a train. He didn’t care to find out where it was going. A little later, a travelling ticket examiner (TTE) asked him to show his ticket. The query elicited no response from the boy. However, after persistent questioning, the official got a reply from him. Upon discovering that the boy was a runaway, the TTE talked to him and convinced him to return home.

The compassionate official asked the boy to sit next to him. When the train reached Bangarapet railway junction, he got off with the kid and handed him to another TTE on a train going to Bengaluru. The official requested his colleague to drop off the boy at the cantonment railway station. The TTE of the Bengaluru-bound train took care of him till it reached its destination.

After deboarding the train, the remorseful and hungry boy returned home, where anxious family members greeted and hugged him. When she saw her son, his mother couldn’t help hugging him tightly and bursting into tears. She then affectionately fed him. Following that harrowing experience, he refrained from attempting such perilous journeys in the future. Fortunately, the kindness of two TTEs saved him from falling into the wrong hands. There was no dearth of such people decades ago, and they are around even today, as witnessed by Parinav and his thankful parents. The role played by social media in the contemporary lost-and-found story also needs to be acknowledged.

#Social Media


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