A teenage runaway might be sent back to his “heartless” stepmother in Bangladesh, instead of his mom in Karachi for whose love he audaciously sneaked into India with the hope of crossing over to Pakistan.
The 15-year-old boy had spent two-and-a-half years in a Bhopal shelter home after police caught him at the city’s railway station in October 2013. He apparently came to India to escape his stepmother’s harassment following advice from friends that he could go to Pakistan to meet his mother whom his father had deserted in the country’s financial capital Karachi.
He will now be repatriated to Bangladesh, although it is not clear if he would be kept in a shelter home there or returned to his father.
I will not go to my father’s home, says the boy
“I will not go to my father’s home. I can’t explain my feelings but I hope that from Bangladesh I will go to my mother in Pakistan, which couldn’t be possible from India,” he said, reluctantly packing his bag.
The boy will be handed over to a Kolkata-based NGO, Sanlaap, which works for the repatriation of children, officials said on Thursday quoting a Madhya Pradesh child welfare committee order.
Boy’s dream may not be completely shattered yet
But the boy’s dream may not be completely shattered yet.
Archana Sahay of Aarambh, the NGO that is taking care of the boy and will take him to Kolkata, said his mother had told her that it would be easy for her to take him back to Pakistan from Bangladesh.
“Though he is not going to his mother in Pakistan, I am happy that the boy is being sent back to Bangladesh. Everyone has put the best efforts to help the boy.”
Young enthusiast from Bhopal helped locate his mother in Karachi
Help poured in for the boy after Hindustan Times published his story in September 2015. A young enthusiast from Bhopal helped locate his mother in Karachi and diplomatic channels opened later to facilitate the boy’s reunion with his mother. Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burny stepped in too, as did foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and state women and child development minister Maya Singh.
Indian high commissioner TCA Raghavan met his mother, Razia Begum, in Karachi while the Pakistani high commission’s first secretary Khadim Hussain met the boy at the shelter home in Bhopal. But all efforts failed as his mother couldn’t prove the boy is her son.
Pathankot terror attack virtually sealed boy’s reunion with his mother
Without an identity proof, his citizenship couldn’t be established. Then the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase happened in January, virtually sealing the boy’s reunion with his mother and prompting officials to start the process of sending him back to Bangladesh. Bhopal-based child welfare committee member Rekha Shridhar said NGO Sanlaap have agreed to help repatriate the boy to Bangladesh. “We will monitor the repatriation process till its completion.”