It was a usual night in the life of 30-year-old Dipchand Gupta as he sifted through the railway tracks of platform number 5 near the ladies coach at Thane. Meticulous in his search of scraps of reusable waste, little did the humble ragpicker know he would stumble upon an abandoned purse.
This purse contained a thick wad of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes and debit and credit cards.
It would have been easy for him to keep it and never utter a word. But the man was not greedy. Though it was late, Dipchand rushed to the Thane stationmaster’s office.
Speaking to Midday, Thane stationmaster B K Mahindhar said, “Gupta came to me and gave me the purse, telling me that he had found it on the track near platform number 5. Quite simply and innocently he said to me, ‘There is a lot of money inside it; please take care.’”
The purse had Rs 33,000 cash, as well as debit and credit cards, revealed the station master!
The stationmaster was quick to trace the owner, who happened to be a Thane resident, Akshara Mokashi. Moved by Gupta’s honesty, the woman who couldn’t stop crying after she had found the money. She gave the ragpicker Rs 2,500 as a token of appreciation.
When Akshara reached the stationmaster’s office, she admitted that she had lost her purse around 9 pm. And it was only because of Dipchand’s honesty, that she had recovered it within an hour.
The humble ragpicker was quick to advise Mokashi to be careful in future while commuting in crowded trains, especially while carrying a significant amount of cash.
22-year-old Mokashi travels to Ghatkopar for work and had just withdrawn her full salary from the previous month, to give to her family for household expenses.
“I realised I’d lost my purse when I got down from the autorickshaw. I called my friend to search for it near the station. We retraced my steps and looked in all the spots I had stopped, but, in the meantime, the ragpicker found it and gave it to a railway official. I am thankful to him. It’s my hard-earned money, and I couldn’t stop crying when I got the call that it had been found,” she told Midday.
Instances like these continue to strengthen our faith in the honesty of the poorest of poor. We hope Gupta’s act of kindness gets the limelight it deserves.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
Feature Image in-set Credit: Midday