Joined: 26 December 2005
TV star reunites runaway & family
Talent show constestant is shown chatting up 14-yr-old, family in Jaipur recognises him and swings into action
Reena Thapar Kapoor and Santosh Andhale
boy who had run away from his home in Jaipur when he was just eight, is
being reunited with his family after they saw him interacting with a
contestant on a reality-based TV show.
Mohammad Sayeed was at his house in Jaipur watching a talent hunt show Ek Main Aur Ek Tu when he spotted a boy who looked like his runaway brother Rafiq chatting up with one of the show contestants.
Ek Main Aur Ek Tu participant Sharib was visiting the Spark Street Children Centre at Dadar, as part of the show promotion and there he began speaking to Rafiq and discovered that they both hailed from Jaipur. Rafiq's brother and other relatives could hardly believe their eyes as they watched the show and this interaction.
The very next day, they found out Sharib's Jaipur address and got in touch with his mother requesting her if he could help them verify if the boy was indeed their child and how they could reach him.
"They told ammi (mother) that they'd seen Rafiq talking to me in the promotional clippings of the show and if I could help verify a few things," says Sharib. "I found out that Rafiq used to live at Maulana Ziauddin colony which is quite close to my house at Subhash chowk and from thereon things worked out."
When we visited the children's centre on Thursday, Rafiq said he was both excited and apprehensive about going back to Jaipur. While he was happy, he said, at being reunited with his family, the prospect of leaving his 'family' at the orphanage with whom he has spent the last six years was making him sad.
Rafiq said that he ran away from home because he was fed up of the constant shouting and nagging of his step mother and grandmother. "Nani beat me up ruthlessly because I was weak in studies so I left home and headed towards the railway station. Once there, I did not know what to do so I boarded the first train that came on the platform," disclosed Rafiq.
Though he does not remember which train it was, he said he realised he had reached Mumbai as the sign board read Mumbai Central and he was told that the train would not go beyond that.
Without any relative or friend in Mumbai, Rafiq started begging on the trains for the first two months and slept on various railway stations.
However, after falling off a train at Bhandup and fracturing his hand, Rafiq was brought to Dadar station where he was spotted by Gopal Sharma, the manager of Spark Street Children Centre, Dadar. Sharma took Rafiq to the centre which was to become his new home.
According to Sharma, Rafiq adjusted well at the centre and was soon sent to a BMC school at Matunga, He is in class VII and also work at a lottery stall near the Centre. "I have a good friend here and I get better food," said Rafiq.
"Most of the time we do try to get the children reunited with their parents but we never force the children to go home. If they insist they do not want to leave we let them be," says Sharma.
That doesn't seems to be Rafiq's case. His family is eager to welcome him back. "I just want to bring him back though I am still not clear on the legal procedure if any, and thank God I was watching TV," says Rafiq's brother Mohammad.
When asked about allegations of mistreatment Mohammad says that Rafiq when he ran away was "too small to understand what was happening. Yes, my father did raise his hand on him a few time but it was only because of his bad habits. He had got into bad company and would come home late. As a father he has right to spank him. Running away doesn't help."
• Most of the time we do try to get the children reunited with their parents but we never force the children to go home. If they insist that they do not want to leave, we let them be— Gopal Sharma, manager of Spark Street Children Centre, Dadar
|Rafiq Sayeed (centre) had run away when he was 8. (Right) Ek Main Aur Ek Tu participant Sharib who mediated.|
Joined: 08 December 2005
Joined: 16 March 2006
Joined: 19 March 2005
Joined: 17 May 2006
Joined: 06 February 2006
Joined: 27 October 2005
still i am not sure boy will be happier back to his home.
as he said his step mother , father , beating him.
I personly feel that boy should be given back to his parent on conditional basis, to get agreement from family that they will not abuse him
Joined: 18 October 2005
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