Traumatised Nepali youth returns home close to Himalayas from Bengal town
Baglung in western Nepal overlooks the Kali Gandaki gorge and is close to Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, while Baruipur, a district in West Bengal, is close to the Bay of Bengal. The distance between the two locations is over 1,000 km.
Kolkata: Baglung in western Nepal overlooks the Kali Gandaki gorge and is close to Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, while Baruipur, a district in West Bengal, is close to the Bay of Bengal. The distance between the two locations is over 1,000 km.
No wonder, residents of Baruipur’s Bedberia Ramkrishna Pally were surprised on being visited by an uninvited guest from Jaimini in Baglung. Had it not been for the determination of sisters Runu Haoladar and Dipali Paramanik, the 23-year-old Nepali youth would still have been roaming some street as a vagrant.
Runu and Dipali were on their way to their imitation jewellery store when they spotted the youth. He was bleeding from injuries on both arms and was unable to remain still due to the pain. The sisters took him to the local hospital and got his injuries dressed. They then took him home to Ramkrishna Pally.
“The sisters fed him and bought him a set of new clothes. After the youth had cleaned up, they asked him about his whereabouts. Though he was able to hear them, he would not utter a word. After a while, he broke down and pointed to his back. The sisters found serious injury marks there. The youth had clearly been physically tortured and may have lost his speech due to the pain inflicted upon him,” said Ambarish Nag Biswas, secretary, West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC).
Neighbours had started gathering around the house of the sisters, who live by themselves. Nearly all of them insisted that they get rid of the youth as he may be a criminal. The sisters refused. It was during this confusion that somebody handed them Nag Biswas’s number.
Many people around the state know that Biswas and the WBRC — an organization of amateur radio operators — have reunited hundreds of such people with their families, not only in India but in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh.
“We soon realised that the youth was from Nepal. He was nodding when we spoke to him in Nepalese. We then got in touch with HAM operators from Nepal and his home was traced within an hour. His name is Suraj BK and holds a Nepali passport and driving licence. His brother spoke to us over the phone and said how he had run away from home about three years ago after being scolded for his mobile addiction. He was normal then and could speak. We approached the Consulate of Nepal in Kolkata after that,” Nag Biswas added.
A team from the Consulate visited Baruipur and interacted with Suraj. The diplomats also took along a medical team that included counsellors. After his brief stay with the sisters at Baruipur, the Consulate took charge of Suraj and transported him to Nepal by rail and road on Sunday. The sisters were allowed to accompany him part of the way as they were still apprehensive that he may not reach home safely.
“We need to recognise the brave effort of the sisters. It was solely due to them that Suraj returned home safe. With no help from neighbours, the sisters would spend sleepless nights as Suraj had nightmares and woke up trying to escape from somebody,” the WBRC secretary said.