A young boy of 12 years wanted his father to buy him a new cycle. Father,  saving a good amount, fulfilled his desire and gifted a new expensive cycle.

The family used to live in a small village on rent,  dominated by locals  who were known for their aggressive and violent ways.  Even their kids were very unkind and rude types. This village had dense forest area, secluded farm houses and lot of abandoned tube wells. 

Kunnu’s family was the first tenant in this whole village. 

This young boy,  Kunnu, used to enjoy his bicycle ride. For few days his father did accompany him for the rides but due to shift duties it was not possible daily.

Kunnu, every evening used to go for rides. His father, even though not a local resident , was well respected by the natives of the village due to his goodwill,  helpful nature and pleasant personality .

Every evening when Kunnu used to enjoy his cycling , a boy, around 5 years elder to him, used to stop Kunnu and asked him to handover the cycle.  Obviously Kunnu used to say no and come back home. This happened for few days. 

One day Kunnu went for his usual ride and this local boy stopped Kunnu and threatened him to give the cycle.  When Kunnu objected and said No , the boy forcefully pushed Kunnu and sntached his cycle.  Kunnu fought back and asked him to give back the cycle. 

Kunnu’s mother on the other side was getting worried as it’s been an hour Kunnu was not back.  She went in search of him, leaving her 9 yr old daughter and husband at home, who was sleeping after a shift duty.

When she was halfway, a young boy came running and told her that Kunnu has been kidnapped by few boys and he has seen them taking him to a secluded tube well room.

Kunnu’s mom came running back to home, woke her husband up and narrated all the incident.

Father, a well built person, immediately got up,  told his wife you go to the house owner and collect more people and tell them a story that someone is beating me (father of Kunnu) and bring them to that tubewell. This will help to bring the crowd, much needed if the kidnappers are more or with some serious weapons. 

The wife did the same..meanwhile, the father, along with that informer, reached that tubewell and broke the door.

To his horror, he saw his son half naked in a corner of the room shivering and crying, begging to be freed and other boys reaching towards him with electric wire to give him shock. 

Kunnu’s dad immediately got into action and like a bollywood hero, he kicked all the bad boys very badly,  made them bleed and specially hit the main culprit boy.

The main villain boy wanted Kunnu not to reveal anything at home or else he will kill Kunnu and in order to scare him he was going to give him electric shock and Kunnu’s father reached just at that moment.

When the crowd appeared within 15 minutes, Kunnu’s father got to know that the boy he had beaten was the son of the Sarpanch of the village and many people told him that he will be thrown out of the village and he should run away with his family immediately if he cares for their lives.

Father said he is ready to face anything. Fortunately that head of the village held his son responsible for all the chaos and seeked forgiveness.  

The Father and his family stayed in that village and everyone loved them, respected  them and cried when they left it finally after 20 years. 

The reason behind sharing this story is that child kidnapping, though it was just a small selfish reason of a cycle, is very much real.

Specially now as kids are more vulnerable because they live almost in a virtual world with less exposure to various kind of people.

Few pointers from my personal experience i would like to share hoping it might be useful for others too:

  • Most parents may remember the term ‘stranger danger’, however, abductions by strangers is very few. Most of the time the abductor is either some neighbors,  relative, friends or some known person of the family. Even for maximum cases of rape and severe molestation some relative or known person is involved  (personal experience and bad memory…will write about it someday when i  feel comfortable😐)
  • I personally believe that creating a situational awareness is needed. My dad always warned me not to walk very closely to parked cars. And always look into the side mirrors of those cars to check if someone is following you. Also tell kids never to show off their possessions.
  • As children grow into teens and young adults – parents need to instill situational awareness. Reminders of not getting into strangers’ cars are common, but also being aware of what’s going on around them is crucial.
  • Limiting personal information on social media and public platforms can also help to avoid such unwanted situation.  I never update my whereabouts anywhere.  Also i don’t stick my daughters name or school name on her bags, bottles  or lunch boxes. As someone might use these information to appear friendly to her.
  • Using code word definitely helps. Though till date i haven’t created one for my daughter as i feel she is too young and in her excitement she will blurt out the code to everyone. 😆But my dad had given me one. Once someone approached me saying your dad has met with an accident and he has asked me to pick you up. (Exact hypothetical situation that once my dad had given me🤔). I politely asked him the code word and he gave it. Then i asked him to call my dad’s office to get confirmation and they too informed that yes that’s true. I asked that man to take me to my dad and fortunately he was a genuine person and i saw my dad at Doctor’s place .
  • Tell children to stay away from secluded place,no matter how attractive it looks.
  • Keep the lines of communication open between you and your children. They should know your cell phone number, home phone number, as well as their own address.
  • Always tell children that if they are grabbed by someone and in danger, they need to fight back. “Fight, scream, bite,  hit, make a scene. Everything is acceptable. Kidnappers may threaten them, or can say that they’ll hurt their dad or mom whatever maybe — It’s going to happen anyway so you need to fight, make a scene. 
  • Always teach your kids some basic self defence moves. And to approach a police or a parent with kid in case of any emergency.

These tips looks so normal and basic but trust me they are very potent weapons.

But be careful that while telling all these precautions to your children, make sure that you do not instill a sense of fear in your child but a healthy awareness of the dangers of the world . 

They should be strong not weak and fearful of eveyone and everything. 

PS: The story is a real incident that happened with my brother.  And post that horrible incident,  instead of becoming weak and vulenrable,  i and my brother came out to be strongest to face the world and all credit goes to my brave dad and mom. 

Image: Meelimello , pixabay 

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Shalini Pandey

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