In a heartwarming story of cross-border goodwill, a US-based Pakistani businessman played Good Samaritan to a group of Indian students stranded at a US airport with an ‘oversized baggage’ and no money to pay.
The incident occurred on March 16 at the Dallas airport when the group of aero-designers from the National Institute of Technology-Jamshedpur (NIT-J) was returning home after participating in a competition at Texas, the leader of the team said on Tuesday.
Team captain Aditya Barnwal said the Pakistani businessman, who identified himself only as Amaad, paid $260 (around Rs 17,000) asked by airport officials as fine.
Officials at the immigration counter had objected to the size of a package that contained an aircraft model showcased by the team in the competition.
Though relationship between the two neighbours have remained bitter over the years, individual stories of bonhomie and friendship often emerge, breaking the narrative of India-Pakistan enmity.
“When we asked for his account details for refunding the money once we return home, Amaad said there’s no need for that,” said Aditya adding that who added that at first they had mistaken the Pakistani businessman for a “fellow-Indian”.
Aditya said that they were allowed to take the same box on their journey to the US.
“We had just $70 with us. We tried asking the officials to let us check in because we were students, but our efforts went in vain. It was then that Amaad came forward and helped us,” Aditya added.
The NIT-J team ranked eleventh among 75 teams that participated in the competition organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers Aero Design at Fort Worth, Texas, between March 11 and 13. It was also adjudged first among the 12 Indian teams that competed in the show.
A team of 23 NIT-J students built the plane in six months at a cost of Rs 1.50 lakh.