Arvind Prasad was all of 13 years when he left his village in Uttar Pradesh 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 them,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 Chennampatti in UPs Kushinagar district.
The two friends were playing on the railway tracks when the train hit them.
The two were brought to Surat by one Zahir Ansari,from the same village,who convinced their parents about the money and the promise that awaited them in Surat. They could feed their other children and send them to school as well,the parents were told by Ansari,who supplies labourers for textile units in Bhatena area.
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. While Ansari sent five of them to work in other textile units,he employed the two boys in his own unit that he runs out of his home. They 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 some distance by the impact.
Narad called up Ansari,who rushed to the spot and took the boys to SMIMER hospital,where they were declared dead on arrival.
On being informed,Mukeshs father Kanaiyalal Sahani and Arvinds father Naresh reached here Thursday night. The bodies were handed over to them after post mortem on Friday. We have lost our good son, said Naresh.
Ansari said,They 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,adding that he would look into the matter.