| Tenzi being treated at Darjeeling Sadar Hospital. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Oct. 8: Tenzi Cheten Bhutia, a four-year-old boy from Pokhriabong in Darjeeling subdivision, pulled off a miracle and survived for almost a week in the dense forest along the Rangbhang ridge, leaving everyone wondering how he did it.
Tenzi, who hardly knows his way around his home, went missing on October 1 after two of his friends, Chendup and Siddhant, both seven years old, left him behind when the trio got caught in a heavy downpour.
The children had gone to play at the Bishnu temple, around 5 km from Pokhriabong, wearing their new clothes which they got for dussehra, said Deepak Gurung, the GNLF leader from the area.
“With Tenzi not returning home even after it got pretty late in the evening, we sent out groups of people to nearby areas to look for him. But all was in vain,” said Ulung Tamang, Tenzi’s uncle. “The next day, we filed an FIR at the Sukhiapokhri police station and continued our search. Everyone in the village tried his best to track down Tenzi.”
The villagers had almost given up hope when Som Bahadur Rai, an elderly resident of the village, who had gone to the outskirts yesterday, heard a child crying in the jungle.
Hearing the news, the villagers immediately reached the spot to find the child standing beside the stream that separates Sangma from Magerjung.
The boy did not have any clothes on and he could not even say what had happened to him, said a resident. “But one look at him and we knew that he did not get anything to eat during the seven days in the forest,” he said.
Convinced that it was his divine power that helped him fight all odds and survive, some villagers took him to a monastery at Ghoom Bhanjeyang. But when the priests there told them that Tenzi did not possess any great power, they took him to the Darjeeling hospital for treatment.
Atanu Banerjee, superintendent, Darjeeling Sadar Hospital, who is in charge of Tenzi’s treatment, said the boy has survived by sheer miracle. “I wonder how he fought those cold nights without any clothes on. He is now absolutely fine and has been discharged from the hospital after being administered saline water for a night,” said Banerjee.
With insect bites all over his body, Tenzi, for his life, could not tell where he had been and how he managed to reach the stream. Coaxing from his relatives and neighbours helped little as the child maintained that he remembered nothing.