The girls, std VI students, left the school and landed up at Kalwa station; one of them had been beaten up by her stepmother the previous night
A Std VI girl was so scared of getting a beating from her stepmother that she decided to run away from her school, taking her friend along. The two girls Neelam Shukla and Preeti Yadav both 12-year-olds from RK Tripathi School in Vithalwadi were eventually found at Kalwa station around noon.
The parents Ajit Kumar Shukla (yellow) and Prema Yadav (right). It was Prema’s thrashing that provoked Preeti to run away
The ‘rationale’ behind this decision was the beating that Preeti got from her mother the previous night. Scared that she might have to face her wrath again, she and her friend decided to leave from school at 10 am during the recess.
Preeti Yadav (in brown) was afraid of her stepmother’s beatings and decided to run away with her friend Neelam Shukla
When the girls didn’t return home after school around 12 pm, the worried parents went to the school and threatened the authorities that they would lodge a police complaint if they weren’t found. Both the families stay in a chawl very close to the school. Tensed teachers and school authorities started a frantic search for the duo.
‘Storytellers’ at Kalwa
Meanwhile, the girls reached Kalwa station by this time. When a railway official questioned why they were loitering around without an adult, they cried and made up a story that a man from Vithalwadi had brought them there.
Sanjay Gupta, the station manager, said, “They told us a man from their area had brought them to Kalwa and left them here. We found this story suspicious and immediately called up their parents.”
Before the parents could arrive, their teachers reached Kalwa. Sunita Singh, their class teacher, said, “The girls disappeared during recess and their parents accused us for it. We told them we weren’t responsible if the kids wandered out, but we were still blamed.”
The true story
Once the two sets of parents arrived, the girls’ story was busted. Preeti said, “Last evening, my step mother thrashed me and I decided to run away.
I was afraid of going alone and hence, asked my best friend Neelam to accompany me.” Her stepmother Prema said, “If children commit mistakes, we will yell or beat them up. Never in my dreams did I realise that they would run away.”
One of the two girls (Neelam) even wore civil clothes under her uniform. Both had discarded their school attire, scared that someone might pull them up for playing truant. The girls were handed over to their parents, who were warned against reprimanding them physically.
>> Girl didn’t want to go home, and asked her friend to accompany her
>> Left school around 10 am and found at Kalwa station around 12 noon
>> Both were found wearing regular clothes, not their school uniforms