Some time ago, Kishore Kumar Bhadu, 52, had kept Rs 1 lakh in a carton with old books of his brother’s granddaughter, who lives with them. These were to repay a debt.
Last Friday, as Kumar, a farmer, went out of his house in village 15 SGR in Suratgarh tehsil in Ganganagar, his wife Shimla Devi sold off the carton, the old books and other stuff to scrap dealers for Rs 7 per kilo, not knowing the carton had Rs 1 lakh in it. Unknown to Kumar, as he sat at a neighbour’s house next day, reading newspapers, two persons came looking for one ‘Poonia girl’. “We have 4-5 families with Poonia surname in our neighbourhood, so I accompanied them to help find the person they were searching,” Kumar said.
“But when I asked them the full name of the person, they said they’re looking for one Shalu Poonia to return something. I told them it was my brother’s granddaughter who lives with me. I am bringing her up as I have no children of my own,” Kumar said. “As for the different surnames, Shalu’s mother — my niece — had married into a Poonia family,” he said.
As they reached his house, the duo, cousins Shanker Lal Verma and Surendra Verma, then showed Kumar a carton and asked if he had kept something valuable in it. “My wife told me she had sold it off to them. Then I told them that I did keep Rs 1 lakh in it and they simply returned the money,” Kumar said.
“Last Saturday, when we were separating the books and papers from the carton, we found wads of cash in the carton. We did not count it and decided to return it,” said Shanker Lal Verma, 28. “As we had gone through a few houses, we started looking for an identification to locate the owner of the carton. We found the name Shalu Poonia on the books which helped us locate her family,” Verma said. Moved by their honesty, Kumar then offered them Rs 2,100 cash, which they accepted after much persuasion.