There are heroes everywhere around us, it’s us who often look for them in the wrong places. One such real-life paragon of exemplary dedication & even sacrifice at work is Rekha Mishra, 32, a sub-inspector with the Railway Protection Force at the CST station. She is credited with rescuing 434 runaway children out of which 45 are girls.
Most of these kids had run away from their homes because of being beaten by their parents. Some cases are of children who came to Mumbai enthralled by rumours of glamour in the city, & some are victims of kidnappings too.
Rekha Mishra was on duty in June 2016 when she & her team spotted three scared young girls in school uniforms getting down from the Chennai Express on Platform 15. She went up to the girls to ask them if they were in trouble, but they only stared at her. That’s when she realised they couldn’t understand her, & so her team called a Tamil-speaking person to help. It turned out that the girls had been kidnapped outside their school in Chennai; they had been tricked into approaching a van, & were then forced into it. At a traffic signal, one of the girls bit her captor, &they managed to escape. In panic, they boarded a train at a nearby station, not knowing it was a long-distance express. “We then called up their parents, & the local police station. The girls were my responsibility, I felt, so slept along with them at the police station,” Ms. Mishra said.
Almost all the children found are from 13 to 16 years old. But unfortunately, out of the 434 rescued children Ms. Mishra has handled, the RPF was only able to trace the parents of 28; the rest had to be handed over to the Child Welfare Committee for further action.
Ms. Mishra’s work has impressed senior officers. Ajay Yadav, the senior inspector in charge of CST, says, “She is a very hard-working & dedicated staff member. Her staff should also learn a lesson from her hard work.”
Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, CR, RPF, said, “This is different type of work, &one has to be very dedicated & needs a special skill which, Ms. Mishra has. This is a very responsible job, handling sensitive cases. She has done a commendable job & we are in a process of recommending her for rewards.”
Ms. Mishra had this to say, “I feel very blessed & happy that God helps in doing such work. I always pray to God that gives me strength to help others, especially senior citizens, children, &poor people. I work for around 12–14 hours a day, & make sure that I don’t regret anything when I go to bed.”
Almost all such inspiring stories have one thing in common – they disappear into oblivion without getting due recognition. Same is the case with this story as well because the media hasn’t highlighted it. Today, media channels fulfil their lust for higher TRP through negative news rather than such positive, motivating ones.