A 12-year-old boy, allegedly thrown out of his rented house by the landlord and forced to spend two months in a public park, was finally reunited on Saturday with his parents who were stuck in Bihar because of the lockdown.
The reunion involved several benefactors, including a dog lover and two IPS officers, and the almost inevitable role in these times of social media.
A woman named Yogita Kumari (25), who lives in Dwarka Sector 1, was feeding dogs in a park in Sector 7 about a month ago when she spotted Vishal lying next to a stray dog. She kept noticing him on several visits until she finally quizzed him sometime in May first week why he doesnt go home. He told me he was thrown out of his house and has been staying at public places. His parents had gone to Bihars Samastipur a few days before lockdown and got stuck there, she said. A potters family living near the park was providing him meals for chores in return, he told her.
Vishals saga became an Instagram story for Ms. Kumari, drawing the attention of an Azamgarh resident named Snehlata Singh, who got in touch and posted the story on Twitter tagging Arun Bothra, an Odisha-cadre IPS officer who in turn called his batchmate Sanjay Kumar, Inspector General of Sashastra Seema Bals Bihar sector.
The SSB IG alerted his officers in Samastipur, who arranged to put Vishals father Santosh Pathak and mother on a special train running from Bihar to Delhi on Friday.
An SSB officer received Mr. Pathak, a security guard by profession, at the New Delhi railway station on Saturday and took him and his wife in a cab to Vishal. I am happy meeting my son but saddened to see him extremely weak, the relieved father told The Hindu.