BENGALURU: Thanks to Metro staffers going beyond their call of duty, a mother was reunited with her 10-year-old son who had run away from school in Tumukuru and reached Bengaluru.
It was the automatic fare collection gates at Metro stations - which do not allow entry without a valid token - that helped the kid reunite with his family.
In an incident that took place on January 22, Samarth (name changed), a Class 3 student studying at Haravekere village had bunked school after attending the morning session and boarded a KSRTC bus to Bengaluru. On reaching Majestic bus depot, he walked into Kempegowda Metro station around 4pm. Noticing that people were dropping something resembling a `1 coin into the entry gates of the Metro station, the boy produced a coin and dropped it into the slot provided for tokens.
The Home Guards near the gates saw him trying to thrust the coin into the slot. “One of them took the boy to the office of the station controller. Samarth was still in his school shoes but had changed his uniform. The staffers then helped him out.”
“Samarth was a clever boy and he told the Metro staffers many tales. He initially told them to let him leave as he had come with his grandmother who carried a red bag. This was found to be false,” an official said.
“The boy was treated to ‘bhelpuri’ and strawberry ice-cream by the staff who tried to cajole him into speaking the truth,” the official added. After some time, he gave his correct name and said he studied at Karthick Public School at Tumukuru.
The staff called up the school landline number. “Though it was 6.45pm, the principal was still around and answered the call. She said Samarth had been a student of the school two years ago. And gave his mother’s number,” the official said.
The staff called her and learnt she was a Hindi teacher in a private school in Tumukuru. She immediately told the staff not to believe anything Samarth said as he was good at spinning tales.
“His mother requested us to detain the boy at the station until she could send someone to bring him back home. Around 8.15pm, a city-based autorickshaw driver known to the family came and took the boy,” the official said. “The staff called the family in the night and got a confirmation that the boy had reached home safely,” he said.