Jeet Bahadur, the Nepali migrant who became Narendra Modi’s godson 16 years ago, was reunited with his family Sunday when he stepped off the special aircraft with the Prime Minister on Sunday.
But it now emerges that the young man — he is 27 now — had travelled to Nepal two years ago to meet his family after a Nepali businessman, who was asked by Modi to trace the family, located their whereabouts.
Modi had planned a trip to Nepal two years ago when he was chief minister of Gujarat. He wanted to explore investment avenues and strengthen Gujarat’s business ties with Nepal. At that point, he was all set to reunite Jeet Bahadur Saru Magar, the boy who came to him as an 11-year-old and who he helped through school and a BBA, with his family.
Modi’s visit was cancelled. But Jeet Bahadur was sent to Nepal since the family had been tracked down in Nawalparasi, around 200 km from Kathmandu.
Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s only billionaire who figured in the Forbes list, had taken the initiative to trace the family on Modi’s request in 2012.
“Modiji told me about the Nepali boy when I had gone there (Gujarat) then. Based on the description of the child — that he has six fingers in one hand — and a vague location of his native place, we managed to find the family,” Chaudhary told reporters after Jeet met his family Sunday, the second reunion in two years.
“You did a very good job,” Chaduhary quoted Modi as saying. He was with the family when they met Modi at the Hyatt Regency hotel.
This time, Modi brought along Jeet with him since he too was keen to meet the family.
Jeet’s mother said Modi told her “now please take care of your son”.
But Jeet said: “I told the Prime Minister and my family that I will return to Gujarat to complete my studies.”
He left home when he was barely 11 along with elder brother Dasrath. They found work in Delhi. But Jeet soon tired of the job and left for Rajasthan. But even there, he did not stay long.
He decided to head home to Nepal via Gorakhpur. But he boarded the wrong train and ended up in Ahmedabad where he met Modi.