14 April, 2021

A Husband-Wife Team Tries To Reunite Families And Also Help Plan

A Husband-Wife Team Tries To Reunite Families And Also Help Plan
Bringing families together is an important but routine part of Dr Ghazala Aftab and her teacher-husband Aftab Ahmed's work, but 10-year-old Dinesh's case was an exception. An exception that made the parting just that wee bit less matter-of-fact. It was exactly a year ago that Dinesh had left his home in Mumbai to escape his father's wrath over his habitual school bunking. The youngster hitched a free ride on a north-bound train and, knowing no better, alighted at strange and unfamiliar Bhopal. Here, he was spotted by some conscientious locals and handed over to the government-run Bal Niketan. But Dinesh soon felt trapped. Says Aftab, ''Whenever the boy said he wanted to go back to Mumbai they'd tell him that he'd be taken there once he was a major.'' Fed up with these long-term promises, Dinesh escaped yet again, but as luck would have it, was ''found preparing for a dip in a lake'' by Iqbal, Ghazala and Aftab's son. The couple obtained a provisional guardianship affidavit and decided to keep the boy. ''We didn't want him to go back to the Bal Niketan, besides, we'd grown fond of...

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