Child begging at shrine returns home a crorepati | India News


ROORKEE: A shabbily clad child would walk aimlessly in and out of the Piran Kaliyar shrine near Roorkee, surviving on alms from passersby. The 10-year-old boy, who had been lost for over a year now, has been identified after all these months as Shahjeb Alam and, much to everyone’s surprise, has turned out to be a millionaire.
Shahjeb, the only child of his parents, hails from Pandauli village in UP’s Saharanpur district. His father Mohammad Naved died due to prolonged illness in 2019. His mother, Imrana Begum, had left his father a few months before his death and started living with her parents in Yamunanagar along with Shahjeb. She later shifted to Piran Kaliyar with her son, doing odd jobs to make a living.
But tragedy would strike the boy again. In 2021, Imrana succumbed to Covid-19. With no one to look out for him, Shahjeb was advised by neighbours to seek refuge in Piran Kaliyar, one of the most revered shrines of the Sufi sect. Since then, Shahjeb, suddenly an orphan, has been living there, begging and depending on alms to survive.
But unknown to him, his grandfather Mohammad Yaqub had provisioned in his will that a share of his immovable properties, worth close to Rs 2 crore, be given to Shahjeb, the child of his dead son Naved. After the death of his grandfather in 2021, the property – a double-storeyed house and 5-bigha land – officially went to him but he was nowhere to be found. Shahjeb’s relatives then spread the word around and on Wednesday got wind that the kid was living as a beggar in Piran Kaliyar. They immediately came from Saharanpur and have now taken him back with them.
“It is more than a festival for our family as Shahjeb is with us. We had lost all hope to find him,” said Shah Alam, a relative of Shahjeb, over the phone from Saharanpur. Though his family members had put up his photo on social media, they had not found much luck. “He is slowly getting used to us,” said Nawaz Alam, Shahjeb’s uncle. “It will take some time. He’s been through so much at such a young age.”


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