Indore man wanders from home, found begging on street of Mumbai

For almost a week, the man, who has both physical and mental disabilities, has been under the care of J J Marg police as cops are waiting for his parents to take his custody; he does not know how he came to Mumbai

Found begging for food in torn clothes and in a vulnerable state, a man from Indore, who is both physically and mentally challenged, has been living under the care of the J J Marg police station for almost a week. He has no idea how he came to the city, but cops have managed to trace his family and are waiting for them to turn up.

Afzal Dawoodani (left), a tailor from Dongri, fed Rahul Jagdish, sent him for a bath, gave him a fresh set of clothes and took him to the J J Marg police. Jagdish has been under the care of the police for nearly a week. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Afzal Dawoodani (left), a tailor from Dongri, fed Rahul Jagdish, sent him for a bath, gave him a fresh set of clothes and took him to the J J Marg police. Jagdish has been under the care of the police for nearly a week. Pic/Bipin Kokate

It was in the afternoon of May 22 when Afzal Dawoodani, a tailor from Dongri, spotted Rahul Jagdish begging for food in his shop. Noticing that the man was panic-stricken and struggling to talk, Dawoodani and a friend started gently asking him for his origins.

“He was scared and could barely talk. We realised that he was not only physically challenged, but also had mental disabilities. Hence, we first made him sit, gave him something to eat, and then asked again for his origins. All he said was that he is from Indore, lost his money on the way, and has no way to contact his family,” Dawoodani told mid-day.

Jagdish couldn’t recollect how he had managed to travel more than 500 km. When asked, he kept giving different answers. “He first said he came by a train. After a while, he said he sat in a bus. We couldn’t find any identity proof on him,” added Dawoodani, who then sent him for a bath, gave him a fresh set of clothes, and took him to the J J Marg police.

After a medical check-up was done at the nearby J J Hospital, police officials from J J Marg police then tried eliciting some information from Jagdish, and learnt that he was from Bijalpur, a suburb near Indore. The cops managed to contact Bijalpur police station and reach out to the family, telling them their son had been found in another state.

The family had assured the cops they would reach Mumbai on May 24 to take custody of Jagdish; but they failed to turn up. Jagdish has been under the care of J J Marg police for nearly a week. Police officials feed him regularly and have also given him some blankets, along with some space to sleep he spends his nights on a bench inside the police station, under the watchful eyes of on-duty police officials, lest he wander off again.

Anil Madvi, senior police inspector, J J Marg police station, said Jagdish’s father had been contacted and had agreed to come to Mumbai. Cops haven’t admitted him to a remand home because taking custody from a home involves a tedious procedure.

“We didn’t admit him to a remand home because once the family arrived, they would’ve been forced to complete the lengthy documentation process to take his custody. We thought of taking care of him till the family is here, and they have said they are coming soon. Currently, he is living in the police station,” Madvi told mid-day. However, another cop said they couldn’t continue to look after him for long and would, at the most, wait for another week for his family.

After that, they will either admit him to a remand home or send him to Indore with a team of cops. “Maybe the family doesn’t have money to travel. If that’s the case, we will have to send a team to escort the boy home. He is physically and mentally challenged and can’t be kept away from home for long,” said the official.

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