The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Conscience calls on courier

Barasat, Sept. 8: Debashis Biswas was about to give in to greed. Then he met the would-be victim of his greed and honesty won.

On Wednesday night, while getting off as the last passenger from a shared cab at Barasat, about 23 km from Calcutta, the delivery man of a private courier service was surprised to find the driver forcing a carry bag into his hands, saying he was leaving it behind.

Taken aback, Biswas thought he would throw it away. But curiosity got the better of him and he decided to open the packet, finding Rs 30,000 inside.

With a monthly salary of Rs 1,200, Biswas, 35, decided to keep it. “I thought it was a blessing from god, with Pujas round the corner. On second thoughts, I felt I must find out who the money belongs to and how badly he needs it,” he said.

Biswas found a voter identity card in the packet. From the photo, he recognised the man with whom he had had an altercation as they were waiting in a queue for the shared taxi at Ultadanga.

“The name on the card said Bablu Sarkar, who had caught my collar because he thought I was jumping the queue to get into the cab,” Biswas said. “He got off at Madhyamgram, some minutes before me.”

Yesterday afternoon, Biswas decided to visit Bablu’s residence at Amdanga near Barasat. “I went as a courier boy asking around for a fictitious address of a fictitious person. I went to Bablu’s house — a single-storey house with a tin roof — but he was not at home. I asked his wife if she knew Abdul Hamid Mondal as there was a money order for him. The mention of money made her sad. The woman told me that all their savings were gone as her husband had left the packet containing the money in the taxi.”

He checked with a few neighbours and gathered that Bablu was a welder who planned to open a grocery as his health no longer permitted him to carry on with the strenuous job he was engaged in.

“It was at that point I decided to return the money,” Biswas said.

This morning, Biswas went with the money to Bablu’s house. When Biswas knocked, Bablu opened the door and recognised Biswas. “He immediately recognised it (the packet) and snatched it from me. He took out the bundle of notes and burst into tears and gave me a bear hug,” said Biswas.

“I never thought I would get back the money,” Bablu said. He said he had taken out the money from his bank to set up the grocery shop.

“Now, my dream to open my own shop will come true.”

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