To return a doctor’s lost wallet, Odisha security guard travels over 200 km
A security guard working in an autonomous organisation under the Human Resource Development ministry in Bhubaneswar on a meagre salary travelled over 200 km to return the wallet of a paediatrician who had accidentally dropped it while eating by the roadside.
Mudbir Khan, 35, was walking around the multi-storied Fortune Towers in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday evening when he found a wallet lying by the roadside. Khan, who had joined the regional centre of the National Institute of Open Schooling, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Human Resource Development as a security guard in the area just about a month ago, had just finished his shift and was on his way home to cook dinner for himself when he chanced upon the wallet containing a few thousand Rupees, a credit card, debit card and Aadhaar card. The wallet belonged to a person called Jyoti Prakash Ram, a paediatrician working in Jamshedpur.
“I was clueless where to find the person in Bhubaneswar and also searched for any phone number available in any of the documents. I found a bill of a shop in Jamshedpur and called on the landline numbers mentioned on it. They said that they did not know anything about Ram. I was worried for the man who had lost his wallet as I too had once lost my wallet,” said Khan. He then found the address of Ram from his Aadhaar card and decided to head for Fakirpur village in Keonjhar district on Tueday evening.
When he reached Anandpur town in Keonjhar district on late Tuesday night with the lost wallet, he did not get any vehicle to go to Fakirpur village. He spent the night at the local bus stand. At dawn on Wednesday, while having tea at the bus stand, he got chatting with the tea-seller who advised him to ride pillion on the bike of a local boy who was heading to that area. The biker dropped him 3 km ahead of Fakirpur village after which Khan walked down to the village of the man whose wallet he had found.
On his way, Khan met a friend of Ram who immediately conveyed the news of the wallet over the phone. But just to be sure that he was at the correct address, he asked for the Aadhaar card of the paediatrician’s father Gopal Ram. “When I compared the Aadhaar card of the father with his son I became doubly sure. Only then I handed over the wallet,” said Khan, who refused to take any reward. However, he admitted that the doctor’s family forced him to take the cost of the journey.
“I did nothing great. The only thing that bothered me was the anxiety of the man who had dropped his wallet,” said Khan, who manages to save just about Rs 4,000 every month from his salary of Rs 10,500 and send to his family in Pankala village under the Athagarh assembly constituency.
Sambit Mishra, who works in the concern where Khan works as a security guard, said his honesty and moral values surged over anything else. “Rather than sending a letter in the address mentioned in the Aadhaar card or handing over the wallet to the police, he went for the swiftest option. When newspapers and news channels are flooded with news of burglary, theft and chain snatching, this act of Khan will always help to keep faith in humanity,” Mishra said.