Had it not been for the railway police helpline, the two school-going sisters separated from their family on Wednesday afternoon would not be smiling again by evening.
Identified as Nikki (12) and Mickey (10) by the railway police, the sisters were on a train that pulled out of the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus without their parents.
The police said the sisters were reunited with their family at the Kalyan station. “I got back my father,” Nikki said. “We had got lost.”
The number that did it was 9833331111, the telephone helpline of the railway police.
“The children, along with their parents, had come down to board the Pawan Express from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. While their family and relatives were loading the luggage into the train compartment, the two girls had already seated themselves on their berth,” Inspector Rajendra Nikam, in-charge of the railway control room, said. “When the other members of the family came out again to pick up some luggage from the platform, the train started.”
The officer said their father, Jitendra Singh (30), and uncle, Mahendra Singh (24), tried to catch the train, but it had already picked up speed. Around 12.40 pm, Mahendra called up the railway helpline number.
“He described the girls, said they had boarded Coach Number S7 and were wearing green frocks,” Nikam said. “We alerted the Kalyan Railway police.”
A search at the Kalyan railway station by the police resulted in the rescue of the two nervous-looking girls from their compartment and the family was informed.
“I had come to see off the family of my elder brother Jitendra, which was leaving for Chhapra, our hometown. I, along with Jitendra and my sister-in-law, were left behind when the train started when we were shifting the luggage in the compartment,” Mahendra Singh said.
“Suddenly, we realised that both my nieces had already boarded the train. They were very scared when we met them at Kalyan railway station.”
The girls’ uncle, who resides in Kurla, added that the family was going away for holidays since the girls had finished with their final examination.
Jitendra Singh, a driver, lives in Uran with his family. Nikki and Mickey are students of class V and class IV respectively at a private school.