Inspired by dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim, five teenagers from Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa set off to join the Mumbai underworld but were stopped at Bhopal’s railway station after coolies and vendors informed police.
The five teenagers, who travelled over 500 kilometres in pursuit of their ‘dream’, have been sent back home with a warning to not repeat the attempt. The incident occurred a month ago.
The group was picked up by police after a network of coolies, vendors and auto drivers at Bhopal railway station – who work to rescue children and stop underage drug abuse – got suspicious.
“The children said they didn’t want to study so they fled from their homes and become as powerful and wealthy as Dawood Ibrahim by joining his gang,” said a vendor, Mohammad Shamshad.
“Their words shocked me but I could understand that someone had misguided them. I gave them water and texted a message to Childline and RPF.”
Shamshad is part of a team of 34 people that is working at the railway station for the past two months in coordination with an NGO- Aarambh. They have rescued about 17 children in two months.
“We remain present at the railway station for 24 hours. We can easily identify the children runway who are in trouble,” Shamshad said.
The team is also working on saving the children from the drug abuse.
“We know all the children who live here for long and are drug addicts. May be it’s late for some of them but when we see a new member in the gang, we try to counsel him against the drug abuse. Still if he pays a regular visit to the station we hand over such child to the RPF. We are enjoying this humanity work,” said Radheshyam Chauksey, a coolie.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) town inspector RK Upadhyay said the coolie-vendor network made his work easier.
“We have provided identity cards to these team members so that nobody could doubt their intention when they are dealing with children,” said Archana Sahay, director Aarmabh.