The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha’s boost for Bapi’s son

The past year has been a never-ending nightmare for Somshubhra Sen.

But on Monday evening, when the nine-year-old left the chief minister’s chambers at Writers’ Buildings, he wore a rare smile on his face.

On the last night of 2002, Somshubhra’s father, sergeant Bapi Sen, fell fighting while trying to stop an unknown woman from being harassed by five constables. He died six days later.

After losing his father under such circumstances, Somshubhra’s world crumbled around him. He switched schools, but failed to adjust, and was put into another school. But he has been pining for his first school.

Monday, however, could prove a turning point for the boy, with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee taking up his case, personally.

At Writers’ on Monday, Bapi’s widow Soma Sen, his elder brother Anup, and his sons Somshubhra and two-year old Shankhashubhra, met the chief minister. Police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty was also present during the meeting.

The meeting might not have taken place had Soma not attended the police parade on Saturday to receive a medal awarded to her late husband by Bhattacharjee. “Soma told the chief minister that she wanted to meet him. Bhattacharjee invited her to his office, along with the two boys,” said an official at Writers’.

On Monday, Bhattacharjee promised to make arrangements for Somshubhra to gain admission to the school he wishes to attend. The chief minister asked Chakraborty to ensure that Somshubhra be admitted to his former school — Vivekananda Mission in Joka — and said the state would take responsibility for his education, if so required, officials explained.

Somshubhra was in Class II when Bapi died. Later, when Soma was offered a job, it was felt by the family that he should attend a school with hostel facilities. So, he was admitted to Class III in a primary school opposite Ramakrishna Mission in Narendrapur, last April. But Somshubhra could not adjust to the new set-up.

So, when Soma decided not take up the job offered to her in the police force, Somshubhra was admitted to a local school in Behala. But he had his heart set on returning to Vivekananda Mission. By Monday evening, that did not seem a distant dream for the boy.

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