A scene that would take any Kolkatan back to the city’s shameful past of crippling strikes played out in the heart of the city on Monday.
A Class X student who had started from home for school failed to get any conveyance because of the trade union strike on Monday and was found crying in his school uniform at the 8B bus stand in Jadavpur in south Kolkata. He was lucky, a traffic sergeant spotted him and dropped him at his school.
SFI students who were supporting the strike put wooden benches in the middle of Raja SC Mullick Road in Jadavpur, blocking vehicles plying in both directions.
The blockade started around 11am and continued till late on Monday afternoon.
Cops diverted Gariahat-bound traffic through Bijoygarh and Baghajatin, and vehicles headed in the direction Garia towards EM Bypass from the Jadavpur police station crossing.
The school boy, later identified as Soham Kar, a resident of Jadavpur, was spotted standing at the 8B bus stop in Jadavpur, weeping.
“I went to the boy and asked him why he was crying. He said his pre-board English exams had started five minutes ago and he was not able to get any conveyance because of the blockade,” said sergeant Saptarshi Brahma.
Brahma, from the Jadavpur traffic guard, immediately contacted a colleague who was closer to the spot at the Bengal Lamp stop where the blockade had been set up, asking him to make way for his bike to pass.
“I asked him to get one bench removed so that my bike could pass. I asked the boy to get on my bike,” Brahma recounted.
The boy, who was still crying, unsure whether he would have enough time to write his paper, kept saying if only he could get some extra time.
Brahma sped through Raja SC Mullick Road, with Soham on the pillion, and reached The Modern Academy in Dhakuria, the boy’s school, in seven minutes.
Brahma did not leave the boy at the school gate. He accompanied Soham inside and spoke to the school authorities requesting them to give some extra time for the boy to finish his paper.
“I requested them to give Soham some extra time as he was not to be blamed for the delay. The school officials understood and agreed. The boy rushed inside,” the cop said.