The City of Joy failed to impress Pakistani boy Ramzan, who ran away from a shelter home in Kolkata and returned to be with his friends in Bhopal a week ago.
Ramzan had crossed into India from Bangladesh after being harassed by his stepmother and neglected by his father. He went to Ranchi, then to Mumbai and Delhi before being caught by police at the Bhopal railway station in October 2013.
After repeated attempts to send him to his mother in Pakistan failed, the Child Welfare Committee in Bhopal decided to send Ramzan back to Bangladesh with the help of a Kolkata-based NGO, Sanlaap.
Members of Aarambh, an NGO, and a caretaker from shelter home Umeed accompanied Ramzan to Kolkata. Before leaving Bhopal, Ramzan told HT that he was unhappy but was going in hopes of one-day making it to his home country.
However, sources said Ramzan ran away from the shelter home in Kolkata with half a dozen inmates on April 11, and found his way back to Bhopal after crossing Nagpur and Kanpur. When he reached the shelter home where he has spent nearly two and half years waiting to be sent to his mother, the 15-year-old was exhausted from the long walk from the railway station and had not eaten in three days.
“When I met Ramzan, he hugged me and cried a lot,” said Aarambh director Archana Sahay. “He told me that he didn’t want to go anywhere. He even said he was ready to do anything to stay here in Bhopal with his friends in the shelter home.”
The Child Welfare Committee will decide Ramzan’s fate on Wednesday.