Arvind Prasad was all of 13 years when he left his village in UP and came to Surat to work in a textile unit about four months ago. Since then,he would send home Rs 2,000 every month to educate his brothers,Govind (16) and Zenal (11). Their parents are farm labourers and could hardly feed these mouths,forget sending them to school.
Their dreams crashed on Wednesday when Arvind,along with his roommate Mukesh Sahani (11),was killed after being hit by a train. Mukesh too had come along with Arvind from their village of Chennampatti in Kushinagar district in UP.
The two friends were playing on the railway tracks when they were hit by the train.
The duo were brought to Surat by one Zahir Ansari,their co-villager who convinced their parents about the money and the promise that awaited them in Surat. They could feed and school their children,the parents were told by Ansari,who supplies labourers for textile units in Bhatena area of Surat.
Mukesh and Arvind were among seven people from their village who were brought to Surat by Ansari and bundled into a 12×28 feet room,their new abode.
While Ansari sent five of them to work in textile units in the area,he employed the two boys in his own unit that he runs out of his home. The two were given the job of cutting textile bales.
On Wednesday afternoon,Arvind,Mukesh,along with two other boys,Narad Sahani (18) and Burna Prasad (19),left their room after lunch to play and reached the railway tracks nearby.
Arvind and Mukesh were running on the tracks while Narad and Burna were walking behind them when they heard the sound of the approaching train. Narad shouted to warn them but by then,Arvind and Mukesh were in the middle of a railway bridge. The two boys still tried to step aside,but it was too late. They were flung far away by the impact.
Narad immediately called up Ansari,who rushed to the spot and took the boys to SMIMER hospital,where they were declared dead on arrival.
After being informed by Ansari,Mukeshs father Kanaiyalal Sahani and Arvinds father Naresh reached Surat on Thursday night. On Friday morning,the bodies of their children were handed over to them by police after post mortem. The last rites were performed at Ashwanikumar crematorium in the afternoon.
Arvind would send us Rs 2,000 per month for the education of two of his brothers. We have lost our good son, said Naresh.
Ansari said,The children were like my sons. I gave them good food and lodging and treated them well.
Assistant labour commissioner M S Patel said he was unaware of the incident but promised to look into the matter.