Assistant sub-inspector Shankar Patil brought all his years of experience in the police force and tact into play last month to unite a 17-year-old from Bihar with his family.
“It was quite a task,” said the 54-year-old attached with the LT Marg police station.
Police records say the teenager was fascinated by the city on hearing about the “land of dreams” from his relatives and ran away from his home in Darbhanga on November 10 with Rs 4,000.
Unaware of the correct direction to take for the city, he first ended up in Delhi and splurged all his money on travelling and eating.
These details were revealed by the boy in his statement to the police after finally managing to come to the city and getting caught for stealing a bicycle.
The teenager came to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on November 15.
Without a single rupee in his pocket or shelter, he walked out of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and into the Azad Maidan ground, where he lifted the brand-new bicycle he saw standing without an owner and rode it throughout the day all over the area.
In the wee hours of November 16, he was caught and questioned by the patrolling police, to whom he revealed everything but his true name and address.
The Class IX student passed himself off as Roshan Chawdhary of Naini in Allahabad.
“I made him take a bath as he had not taken one since the day he left his home,” said Patil. “Gave him new clothing and food.”
When the police contacted the police in Naini, they were told the address given was fake.
“In spite of persuasion by police officials, the boy did not budge,” said Patil. “The boy was then sent to the children’s remand room by the juvenile court.”
Assigned the responsibility of tracing the boy’s family, Patil began visiting the remand room after his duty hours at the police station.
He would take eatables for the boy and the other inmates.
“I befriended him with some of his inmates. After about a week or so, I learnt the boy’s real name and his address from them,” said Patil.
The real name of the boy was identified as Sudarshan Kumar Jaijai and his address was traced to Darbhanga in Bihar.
The police contacted his father, Jaijai Rameshwar Rai, a schoolteacher, and mother, a nurse at a primary health centre.
Patil even provided accommodation for eight days to the father in a lodge with his own money since the man from Bihar could not afford it when he came to take the boy home.
The boy went home with his father on December 24, after the due procedures.
“It’s a great feeling, that’s all I can say,” said Patil.